The American comedian has come along way since he was reportedly booed off the stage at the Harlem Apollo Theatre on Amateur Night. He gained reputation among New York’s comedy circuit, dabbled in acting, landed his own show ‘Chappelle’s Show’ in 2003, and signed a huge deal with Netflix in 2016. He is now an Emmy Award winner and recognised as one of the best stand-up comedians of all time.
Chappelle first rose to fame in the 1990’s, gaining significant popularity after his appearance on HBO’s Def Comedy Jam in 1992. He was dubbed as being ‘discovered’ by Mel Brooks thanks to his role in ‘Robin Hood: Men in Tights’ in 1993 where Chappelle played ‘Ahchoo’. His film career lead to a role in ‘Half Baked’ in 1998, ‘The Nutty Professor’ in 1996, ‘Con Air’ in 1997, ‘You’ve Got Mail’ in 1998, ‘Blue Streak’ in 1999 and many more.
In 2003, the ‘Chappelle Show’ premiered on Comedy Central, and saw the star appear each week in comedy skits about pop culture and politics. The show gained such an overwhelming level of popularity that Chappelle felt he had to leave and resume his passion for stand-up. He later filmed ‘Dave Chappelle’s Block Party’ which featured Kanye West and the reunited Fugees in 2006, before he took a step back and began performing less frequently. He returned in 2013 with a stand-up tour, and has now embarked on US and UK tour with ‘The Daily Show’ ex-host, Jon Stewart.
The comedian has had his share of controversies over the years, but his clever wit and insightful reflection on culture have maintained his status as a beloved entertainer. He was dubbed ‘The Kid’ by Ms. Whoopi Goldberg back in the day, but now Chappelle is the Comedy King, making the Rolling Stones’ top ten of the ‘50 Best Stand Up Comics of All Time’.