The American comedian, actor, producer, screenwriter and artist Dave Chappelle was born on August 4, 1973 in Washington D.C. In 1993, Chappelle launched his acting career when he appeared in the movie Robin Hood: Men in Tights. He also had minor roles in the movies Blue Streak, Con Air and The Nutty Professor. In 1998, Chappelle had his debut lead role when he appeared in the movie Half Baked. Chappelle rose to prominence in 2003 when his popular comedy television show Chappelle’s Show made its debut. The show ran until 2005 when Chappelle retired from the show. Comedy Central Presents ranked Chappelle forty third on their All-Time 100 Greatest Stand-Ups list.
Chappelle’s early comic influences while growing up were Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy. After graduating from high school in Washington D.C. in 1991, Chappelle relocated to New York City in hopes of establishing himself as a comedian. Chappelle quickly became well known in New York City’s comedy circuit. In 1993 when he was 19 years old, Chappelle had first film role in the movie Robin Hood: Men in Tights. Chappelle’s next film role came in the movie Getting In in 1994.
In 1995, Chappelle appeared as a guest on Home Improvement, the ABC sitcom. The popular episode led to a spin-off show called Buddies. However, after just four episodes the series was cancelled. In 1996, Chapelle appeared in the film The Nutty Professor with Eddie Murphy. In 1997, he appeared in Con Air and then in 1998 starred in Half Baked and also appeared in You’ve Got Mail, a film starring Tom Hanks. In 1999, he appeared in Blue Streak. Chappelle recorded Dave Chappelle: Killin Them Softly, his first special with HBO, in 2002. He also appeared in Undercover Brother in 2002.
Chappelle debuted Chappelle’s Show, his weekly Comedy Central program, in 2003. On his show Chappelle parodied numerous American culture aspects from pop culture to politics to racial stereotypes. The sharp political and social commentary of Chappelle’s brought the show commercial and critical success in addition to plenty of controversy. The show was nominated for two Emmy Awards. The DVD set for the program became the top selling DVD for television shows, selling more than 3 million copies. In 2004, Chappelle’s second comedy show, Dave Chappelle: For What It’s Worth, aired on Showtime. In 2005, Chappelle abruptly left Chappelle’s Show, while they are producing the third season. He had become unhappy with the show’s direction.
Chappelle starred in and produced Dave Chappelle’s Block Party, a documentary which chronicled a September 2004 concert in Brooklyn. In 2006, Chappelle toured to promote his film.