“Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands.”
One can take liberty with Anne Frank’s quote and say that a person is free to choose their profession as well. And it couldn’t be any truer in Dave Chappelle’s case. One look at the comedian’s life and you can tell that he grew up nothing like his parents.
Belonging to a famous family of educationists where both his parents were college professors and one of his great-grandparents was the president of Allen University, Chappelle grew up in socially aware and politically active surroundings. Musicians Johnny Hartman and Pete Seeger were regulars at the Chappelles’ place and it was Hartman who first predicted that the young Chappelle has all the makings of a stage performer, a comedian to be specific. Hartman could have patted himself on the back then, since decades later, he couldn’t have been more right – Dave Chappelle has been listed at No.1 in the “100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time” by Comedy Central (2009).
This Emmy Award winning comic genius is touring right now and may soon be stopping by at a location near you. If you’ve seen him on television and in movie theatres, then take the next logical step and see him in person – get your Dave Chappelle tickets here.
Dave Chappelle’s Early Life
Chappelle was born in the nation’s capital and grew up in nearby Silver Spring, Maryland, where he attended Woodlin Elementary School. Once his parents separated, he moved with his mother to Washington, D.C., though he would visit his father during summers in Ohio. In 1991, Chappelle graduated from Duke Ellington School of the Arts, where he showed particular interest in theatre arts.
With no qualms of pursuing higher education and following the footsteps of his parents, Chappelle moved to New York City to become a comedian.
Breakthrough & Recognition
Dave Chappelle grew up watching Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy. So, in a way, his inspiration was no different from thousands of other comedians. However, an animated cartoon character, too, left an enduring mark on Chappelle’s comic lifestyle. More on that later.
Chappelle belongs to that rare breed that swims upstream. Once in NYC, he appeared at the dreaded Apollo Theatre in Harlem. As expected, he was booed by the audience. Chappelle says that this was the moment when he decided that he only wanted to be a standup comedian.
Chappelle was later seen performing all over the city, wherever he could find the place and audience. This includes the parks where Whoopi Goldberg saw him perform often and nicknamed him “The Kid”.
The Kid was only 19 when he was cast in Mel Brooks’ famous Hollywood flick, Robin Hood: Men in Tights. Did you know that the role of “Bubba” Blue in Forrest Gump was initially offered to Chappelle? Though he turned down the role at the time, he later parodied the movie in 1997 short, Bowl of Pork. Another lesser known fact about Chappelle is that this 19-year-old kid was once the opening act for Aretha Franklin.
Chappelle initially became a household name through silver screen. With blockbuster hits like Undercover Brother, Blue Streak, Con Air and Nutty Professor, Chappelle had made it big when in 2003, his hit sketch comedy television series, Chappelle’s Show came on air. An instant hit with the audience, this series earned top reviews from the critics and ran for two years before Chappelle retired from the show. The show still runs on various television channels all over the world.
In 2017, Chappelle’s biggest television engagements are Deep in the Heart of Texas: Dave Chappelle Live at Austin City Limits and The Age of Spin: Dave Chappelle Live at the Hollywood Palladium. And while it is not known whether he’s releasing a movie in 2017, A Star Is Born is scheduled to be released in 2018.
In addition to Pryor, Murphy, Mel Blanc, Paul Mooney and Chris Rock, Chappelle credits Bugs Bunny to have a big influence on his career.
In an interview with James Lipton for Inside the Actors Studio, Chappelle reminisces his earliest influences and says,
“You know who was a big influence on me that is really weird is Bugs Bunny, That's just weird. If you watch a lot of the stuff I do, you can almost see the influence in it, Because these animators would animate these performances that were off the hook, And the guy that, the guy that did the voices was Mel Blanc. This guy was like some kind of savant or genius or something, But they had some kind of real big comedic influence on me, like I liked those cartoons, I think that was my first real big comedy influence, was a rabbit.”
The Apple DOES Fall far…
Anne Frank’s prophetic words ring true again when one looks at Chappelle’s personal life – he’s a Muslim. Son of a Unitarian Universalist minister mother, Chappelle converted to Islam in 1998 and has this to say about this aspect of his life: “I don't normally talk about my religion publicly because I don't want people to associate me and my flaws with this beautiful thing. And I believe it is beautiful if you learn it the right way.”
Dave Chappelle Tour Tickets
Charlie Chaplin used to say that all he needed was a park, a policeman and a pretty girl to make comedy – all you need to see Dave Chappelle live is these Dave Chapelle tour tickets. Get yours now before they are all sold out as Chappelle is usually busy making a movie in a studio or writing and producing a comic series. He doesn’t take to the road that often, so see him perform live while you can.