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Dave Chappelle (born August 24, 1973 in Washington, D.C.) is an American comedian and actor. Dave is married to Elaine Chappelle and has two children. height.
David Chappelle has been enraptured by stand-up comedy since his days as an elementary school student at Woodlin Elementary School in Silver Spring, Maryland, and a middle school student in Yellow Springs, Ohio.
His father, William, was a professor of voice and music at Antioch College in Yellow Springs. At 14, Chappelle gathered the courage to perform on stage at the famed Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York. Chappelle was booed off stage, but described this experience on Inside the Actors Studio as an enlightening experience that gave him courage to continue on. After his parents' divorce, Chappelle moved to Washington, D.C., with his mother, Yvonne Seon (a Unitarian Universalist minister). He spent summers with his father in Yellow Springs and graduated from Duke Ellington School of the Arts (a renowned performing arts high school in Washington, DC), where he majored in literary and theatre arts.
In 1992, Dave made his first TV appearance on Def Comedy Jam. In the next year Dave made his first appearance as an actor in Robin Hood: Men in Tights as Ahchoo, and then in Undercover Blues as Ozzie. The period from 1994 to 1997 for Dave was a repetitive cycle of TV appearances, fairly minor stand-up shows, and rather low-budget films. One of the most notable things Dave did during this time was that he was given his first shot at his own show, The Dave Chappelle Project, but the show was short-lived. He also had a role in the 1996 remake The Nutty Professor. In 1998, however, Dave became a hit cult movie star in Half Baked, a film Dave co-wrote (with Neal Brennan) and produced (uncredited), which follows the lives of four stoners. After Half Baked, Dave did more TV appearances, stand-up shows, and films. In 2000, Dave made a rather large hit appearance on his HBO one-night stand-up show, Dave Chappelle: Killin' Them Softly.
In 2003, Chappelle debuted his own weekly television show on Comedy Central, Chappelle's Show. His sketch comedy heavily skewers racial stereotypes and slurs, including Chappelle's African-American heritage. This, combined with pointed social and political commentary, quickly gained the show great popularity. By the end of the second season, it was one of the highest-rated shows on basic cable, and second only to South Park on Comedy Central. Additionally, the DVD set of the first season became the best-selling DVD of a television show to date. Due to the show's popularity, Comedy Central's parent company Viacom reportedly offered Chappelle a $50 million contract (giving Chappelle a share of DVD sales) to continue production of Chappelle's Show for two more years while allowing him to do side projects.
One of Chappelle's most widely-known bits has Chappelle portraying late funk musician Rick James during his drug-abusing years in the Rick James sketch. "I'm Rick James, Bitch!"?which James himself acknowledged was a direct quote?has become a part of popular culture, as have many other Chappelle characters and sketches. Unfortunately, this type of popularity has not always sat well with Chappelle himself. At an appearance at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Chappelle stopped the show to deal with an audience member who would not stop repeating the Rick James phrase, and he even took the gesture a step further at the Memorial Auditorium in Sacramento, CA, where he berated the crowd and walked off the stage for overusing it during his act.
Chappelle has also done two parodies of music videos, "Piss On You" and its remix, which parodies R&B singer R. Kelly's "Feeling on your Booty", and "Ignition (Remix)".
The comedian stunned fans and the entertainment industry when he abruptly left during production of the third season of Chappelle's Show. He spent two weeks in South Africa before returning home to his 65-acre farm near Yellow Springs, and then returned to standup comedy. His decision triggered reports that he had mental or drug problems, which he denied. On May 11, 2005, news sources (most notably Entertainment Weekly) reported that Chappelle had checked himself into a psychiatric facility in South Africa. Chappelle denies this.
On May 14, 2005, Time Magazine announced that one of their reporters had interviewed Chappelle in South Africa, and the comedian said no psychiatric treatments were occurring or necessary. Chappelle reportedly went to South Africa to purify himself and to do some soul searching. Chappelle has also said he was unhappy with the direction of his show. He has recently claimed that he felt pressured by network executives regarding the show's content.