David Khari Webber Chappelle, world renowned for his sketch comedy television series, "Chappelle's Show," is an American stand-up comedian, actor, writer, and producer, who performs touring stand-up comedy all across the country. Here are 30 interesting things to know about the comedian:
- He is the youngest comedian to have made it to the Comedy Central’s list of 100 greatest stand-ups, ranked at #43 on the list, as he was just 32-years at that time.
- Katt Williams, the famous stand-up comedian, believes Chappelle to be the greatest stand-up comedian alive.
- He was ranked at #43 in the the list of "Celebrity 100: The World's Highest-Paid Entertainment" with a total of $47 million earnings as of June 2017.
- He is one of the very few celebrities to do advertisements for both Coca-Cola and Pepsi.
- He decided to become a comedian, when he was 14 years old, after reading an article about Bill Cosby. However, when he started off in the year 1989, he was reportedly booed offstage when he performed at the Apollo Theater, by the audience.
- He made his hosting debut on "Saturday Night Live," on November 12, 2016, with "A Tribe Called Quest" as musical guest. His debut generated the highest ratings of the show in last three years.
- His production company's name Pilot Boy Productions was inspired by the numerous failed pilots he starred in.
- In August 2013, his impersonation of Prince from "Chappelle's Show" was selected by the singer himself as the cover art for his single "Breakfast Can Wait."
- Chappelle is one the favorite comedians of Howard Stern and often sits with him when ever he is in New York.
- Comedy Central's parent company Viacom had a $50 million deal with Chappelle to have him continue the production of "Chappelle's Show," due to the popularity of his show. This is will also allow him to do side projects.
- His father, William David Chappelle III, was a professor who taught music and voice at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. His mother, Yvonne Chappelle, was a professor at Howard University, Central State University, Prince George's Community College, Wilberforce University, and the University of Maryland, and is also a Unitarian Universalist minister.
- His sketches are usually prerecorded and audience reaction was used in lieu of a laugh track. It was in the sketch “Dude’s Night Out,” that a laugh track was used, which however failed to garner the audible audience reaction they wanted.
- Chappelle has appeared at least 8 times on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" till date, which is more than he has had on all other talk shows combined.
- Netflix released two never-before-seen specials that marked the comedian's first concert specials in 12 years, on March 21, 2017. Chappelle has signed a deal with Netflix for three new stand-up comedy specials for which he received a remuneration of $60 million, $20 million each.
- Kevin Hart, who was named as one of the 100 most influential people in the world on the annual Time 100 list, considers Chappelle to be the greatest stand-up comedian of all time.
- His trademark is the comedic point-of-view of popular culture and drugs as well as his provocative, racially charged humor. The University of Gothenburg published a monograph titled "Representations of ethnicity in stand-up comedy: A study of the comedy of Dave Chappelle," that examined the racial significance of language used in all his routines.
- He and Neal Brennan, his writing partner, learned how to write sketches from a SNL guidebook "Live From New York: The Complete, Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live as Told by Its Stars, Writers, and Guests."
- Once in an interview, he said that a celebrity can never lose his or her fame. In his words, “You can become famous but you can’t become unfamous. You can become infamous but not unfamous.”
- In the year 2014, Chappelle performed 10 sold-out shows at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City. This marked his first major New York City appearance in eleven years.
- Wayne Brady was a very big fan of "Chappelle’s Show" and reportedly never missed an episode. However, he got upset when he watched Paul Mooney, as Negrodamus, say “White people love Wayne Brady, because Wayne Brady makes Bryant Gumbel look like Malcolm X." On getting to know Brady's feeling about the sketch, Chappelle called him the next day, which led to a famous sketch in which Brady shows off his dark side.
- He has been involved in several charitable events. In 2004, he donated his time to Seeds of Peace International Camp, located in Otisfield, Maine, that brings together young leaders from communities in conflict.
- He attended Duke Ellington School of the Arts in high school and studied theater arts. Shortly after, he started doing stand-up at various comedy nightclubs.
- He and his wife Elaine Mendoza Erfe along with his sons Suleyman and Ibrahim and daughter Sanaa lives near Yellow Springs, Ohio, on a 65-acre farm.
- In the year 2010, a Canadian dramaturg Elizabeth Ludwig published a book titled "American Stand-Up and Sketch Comedy," which was based on his work along with the works of Margaret Cho, the famous stand-up comedian and actress.
- He was weirdly inspired to create the show when he watched a special on Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner that was designed to resemble one of Hefner's Playboy parties. He spoke with his co-writer Neal Brennan, which led t the creation of "Chappelle's Show."
- During his interview with the Inside the Actors Studio, he claims his biggest influences in comedy to be Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Paul Mooney, and Mel Blanc.
While filming the third season of "Chappelle's Show," he quit abruptly, as he claimed he never wanted to make a third season, but was pressured by Comedy Central as well as his co-workers to continue.
In the year 1998, he converted to Islam and said that he takes his religion very seriously but chooses not to talk about it publicly.
Once in "The Oprah Winfrey Show," he spoke about a particular scene in the 1999 "Blue Streak," his character of Tulley had to wear a dress when disguised as a prostitute, which he adamantly refused, even after the writers and producers trying to convincing him. He said that he felt it to be a disturbing trend in movies where African-American men wear dresses.
In April 2013, Charlie Sheen claimed that he experienced a ruptured hernia and was rushed to a hospital in 2011, when he laughed so hard while watching a "Chappelle's Show."
Dave Chappelle Net Worth: $42 Million