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*Dave Chappelle was born on this date in 1973. He is a Black stand-up comedian and actor.
David Khari Webber Chappelle was born in Washington, D.C. His father, William David Chappelle III, was a professor of vocal performance and the dean of students at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. His mother, Yvonne Seon, worked for Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba, is a Unitarian Universalist minister, and was a professor and university administrator. Chappelle has a stepmother and a stepbrother.
Chappelle grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland, and attended Woodlin Elementary School. His parents were politically active. His comic inspiration came from Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor. After his parents separated, Chappelle stayed in Washington with his mother while spending summers with his father in Ohio. In high school, he worked as an usher in Ford's Theatre. He attended D.C.'s Eastern High School for a short time before transferring to Duke Ellington School of the Arts, where he studied theater arts, graduating in 1991.
Chappelle was in a montage of random people telling a joke in the first episode of America's Funniest People, airing on September 13, 1990. At age 19, he was the opening act for R&B soul singer Aretha Franklin. Chappelle moved to New York City to pursue a career as a comedian. He performed at Harlem's Apollo Theater "Amateur Night" and was booed off the stage. Chappelle described the experience as the moment that gave him the courage to continue his show business aspirations.
Chappelle has appeared in several films. His first lead role was in the 1998 comedy film Half Baked, which he co-wrote. Chappelle also starred in the comedy series Buddies (1996). He married Elaine Mendoza Erfe in 2001. The couple has two sons and one daughter. They live on a 65-acre farm near Yellow Springs, Ohio. Chappelle also owned several houses in Xenia, Ohio. In 2004, he donated his time to Seeds of Peace International Camp in Otisfield, Maine, which brings together young leaders from communities in conflict.
In 2016, Chappelle signed a $20-million-per-release comedy-special deal with Netflix and released six stand-up specials under the agreement. He has received numerous accolades, including six Emmy Awards and three Grammy Awards. In 2019, Chappelle received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor from the Kennedy Center as America's highest comedy honor. In 2020, Sticks & Stones earned Chappelle his third consecutive Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album.