As it is, Dave Chappelle is one of the greatest comedy stars of all-time. Had he not quit his extremely popular Chappelle’s Show, he could have been the greatest comedy star of all-time.
Chappelle was reportedly given a $55 million contract to do two more seasons of Chappelle’s Show (a half-hour, sketch comedy program on Comedy Central). At the time, two seasons had been completed.
In May of 2005, prior to the debut of season 3, Chappelle quit his own show and fled to South Africa. Many thought it was due to drugs or a mental illness. It was not.
Chappelle left because he didn’t like the long hours, the direction of the comedy, and fans interrupting his stand-up routine by yelling out catch phrases from the show.
Chappelle’s first love has always been stand-up and he was never a big fan of a sketch comedy.
One has to wonder, how Chappelle, who had been in the business a decade before landing his own vehicle, could be surprised by the success of his show.
Furthermore, with his name in the title, and the recipient of such a huge investment, it’s hard to believe that he couldn’t have altered the working conditions to his liking.
Chappelle may have quit television but he didn’t quit comedy. He did several one-off stand-up shows in the years after Chappelle’s Show.
In 2013, he sold Dave Chappelle tickets while co-headlining the Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival with the Flight of the Conchords.
During that tour, Chappelle walked out of his performance in Hartford after the crowd began shouting “white power.”
It’s not as bad as you might think as the phrase was used in a Chappelle’s Show sketch. Of course, if you didn’t know that then the chant was inappropriate and offensive.
Chappelle is widely regarded as one of the greatest stand-up comedians of all-time. He was influenced by Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy and in turn has influenced comedians like Kevin Hart and Katt Williams.
Chappelle got his first big break in 1993 when he was just 19. He was cast as “Ahchoo” in Mel Brooks’ Robin Hood: Men in Tights.
His first major film role was in 1998’s Half Baked. A film Chappelle wrote with Neal Brennan (who also co-created Chappelle’s Show).
Chappelle’s Personal Info
Chappelle was born Aug. 24, 1973 in Washington, D.C. Both his parents were professors and very politically active.
Chappelle has two children and resides in Ohio. In 1998, he converted to Islam.