Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Dave Chappelle (born August 23, 1972) is an African American comedian, actor, and social commentator. As a child Chappelle lived in Yellow Springs, Ohio, where his father taught voice and music at Antioch College. After his parents' divorce, Chappelle moved to Washington, D.C., with his mother, but spent his summers with his father in Yellow Springs. Chappelle, the son of a Unitarian minister, began playing comedy clubs in his native Washington, D.C., when he was as young as 14 years old, while studying acting at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. Within a year, he had a chance to perform at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York. He was promptly booed off stage.
Undeterred, Chappelle became a hit at clubs along the East Coast, refining sets which were laid-back and socially conscious. By 1992, he had appeared on HBO's Russell Simmons' Def Comedy Jam . Catching the eye of Whoopi Goldberg, he became the youngest comic to have a featured spot on Comic Relief VI, at age 20.
His first major role was in Robin Hood: Men in Tights. Chappelle turned down the role of Bubba in the 1994 movie Forrest Gump, thinking the movie would be a box office bust, and has since admitted to deeply regretting it. He later appeared as the abrasive comedian in the remake of The Nutty Professor, had a minor role in Con Air, had a supporting role in Martin Lawrence's Blue Streak, and then wrote and starred in Half Baked, a cult film about a group of pot-smoking best friends trying to get their friend out of jail.
In 2003, Chappelle debuted his own weekly television show on Comedy Central, Chappelle's Show. His sketch comedy, which (like All in the Family before it) relies heavily upon racial stereotypes and slurs, including but not limited to Chappelle's African American heritage, quickly achieved 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. Due to the popularity of his show, Comedy Central's parent company Viacom cut a $50 million deal with Dave Chappelle that will continue the production of "Chappelle's Show" for two more years and will allow Chappelle to do side projects.
One of his most well-known skits has him portraying the late Rick James during his drug years, and the phrase "I'm Rick James, bitch!" has now become a part of popular culture.
Chappelle lives with his wife and children on a farm just outside Yellow Springs, Ohio. When he is not touring or engaged in filiming for television or the big screen, he can be seen in the shops and markets of the small college town.
- Undercover Brother, 2002
- Screwed , 2000
- Blue Streak, 1999
- Half Baked, 1998
- 200 Cigarettes, 1998
- You've Got Mail, 1998
- Con Air, 1997
- Woo , 1997
- The Nutty Professor, 1996
- Getting In , 1994
- Robin Hood: Men in Tights, 1993
- DaveChappelle.com - Dave's official website and forums.
- Comedy Central: Chappelle's Show - Comedy Central's official website for Chappelle's Show.
- Reuter's "Dave Chappelle Inks $50 Mil Comedy Deal"
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