David Khari Webber "Dave" Chappelle (born August 24, 1973) is an American comedian, screenwriter, television/film producer, actor, and artist. Chappelle began his film career in the film Robin Hood: Men in Tights in 1993 and continued to star in minor roles in the films The Nutty Professor, Con Air, and Blue Streak. His first lead role in a film was in Half Baked in 1998. In 2003, he became widely known for his popular sketch comedy television series, Chappelle's Show, which ran until his abrupt retirement from the show in 2005. Chappelle is ranked forty-third in Comedy Central Presents: 100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time. In 2003, Chappelle debuted his own weekly sketch comedy show on Comedy Central called Chappelle's Show. The show parodied many aspects of American culture including racial stereotypes, politics and pop culture. Along with comedy skits, the show also featured musical performances by mostly hip-hop and soul artists. Chappelle's pointed social and political commentary quickly helped the show garner critical and commercial success as well as controversy. Richard Pryor, one of Chappelle's comedic influences, was a fan of the show and stated that he had "passed the torch" to Chappelle. Chappelle received two Emmy nominations for the show. Additionally, the DVD set became the best-selling DVD of a television show to date, overtaking the previous best-selling, The Simpsons first season DVD. It had sold over 3 million copies. Due to the show's popularity, Comedy Central's parent company Viacom reportedly offered Chappelle a $55 million contract (giving Chappelle a share of DVD sales) to continue production of Chappelle's Show for two more years while allowing him to do side projects. Chappelle had stated that sketches are not his favorite form of comedy, and that the characteristics of the show's format were somewhat like short films. In June 2004, based on the popularity of the "Rick James" sketch, it was announced that Chappelle was in talks to portray Rick James in a biopic from Paramount Pictures (also owned by Viacom). James's estate disagreed with the proposed comical tone of the film and put a halt to the talks. In 2004, Chappelle recorded his second comedy special, this time airing on Showtime - Dave Chappelle: For What It's Worth, at San Francisco's Fillmore Auditorium.
David Khari Webber Chappelle