Chappelle Gives Surprise L.A. Show

Is Dave Chappelle (search) back? The AWOL comedian dropped in unannounced at two popular comedy clubs Thursday night, saying he had just arrived in Los Angeles and felt like performing, Daily Variety reported Friday.

Chappelle served up some impromptu standup to stunned audiences at the Hollywood Improv and the Comedy Store, the trade paper said.

Chappelle, 31, took off last month to South Africa for a "spiritual retreat," leaving his fans — and even his agent and publicist — wondering where he went.

After Comedy Central announced that the planned May 31 debut of the third season of "Chappelle's Show (search)" had been postponed, the magazine Entertainment Weekly reported that Chappelle had checked himself into a mental health facility in South Africa.

But Chappelle denied checking into a mental facility or having a drug problem in an interview with Time magazine.

Instead, he fled to stay with friends in Durban because he wasn't happy with the direction of the show, which is behind only "South Park" as Comedy Central's most-watched program.

Calls to Chappelle's publicist and Comedy Central (search) were not immediately returned Friday morning.

An unnamed Comedy Central representative told Variety that network officials would be sitting down with Chappelle to talk business "really, really soon."