Dave Chappelle

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Once in a while, we comedy lovers get a good, solid Dave Chappelle sighting. He comes out of hiding to do some standup and then disappears again into the ether.

But now the hilarious comic—who fell off the radar (on his terms) in 2005 when he abruptly quit Chappelle's Show—seems to be prepping for a comeback and has reared his head in New York.

No word yet on if it's a show or a comedy special, but he's taking to stand-up stages and practicing for something.

See where he showed up last night...

The audience downtown at the Comedy Cellar last night waiting for a lineup that included Nick Griffin, Sherrod Small and Dave Attell, were shocked when Chappelle appeared out of the shadows around 11:30 and stepped on the stage to do a set.

"He came in, didn't tell anyone he was coming, went on stage and did just over an hour," one employee at the popular stand up spot told E! News. "But that's short for him. Everybody liked seeing him."

The Cellar employee said that Chappelle appeared to be in a good mood and was cordial all night.

"If he comes here and he's going to work, he's in a good mood. He's always in a good mood on stage."

The club was already packed last night, but Chappelle stayed up so long, many of the comics slated to perform got bumped.

"He came in to work out something," hinted the employee.

Although they wouldn't give away exact details of his set, Chappelle is rumored to be planning a comeback with a subscription service like Netflix or Hulu, according to The Daily.

His rep denied the rumor, but it seems the low-key comic is working out material for some sort of project.

The comic suffered a spectacular burnout after he signed a $50 million deal for seasons three and four of his previous show. In the middle of season three, Chappelle suddenly disappeared, mid-production, roaming around South Africa before returning home to his farm in Ohio. He claimed neither drugs nor craziness were a factor.

 After his breakdown, Chappelle sat down with Oprah to explain why he had gone into hiding.

"I would go to work on the show and I felt awful every day, that's not the way it was," he explained. "I felt like some kind of prostitute or something. If I feel so bad, why keep on showing up to this place? I'm going to Africa. The hardest thing to do is to be true to yourself, especially when everyone is watching."

Despite the mess, Comedy Central had still called Chappelle a "comedic genius."

Agreed. And we can't wait to see what he has in store.

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