David Khari Webber Chappelle (/ʃəˈpɛl/, born August 24, 1973) is an American stand-up comedian, actor, writer, and producer.
After beginning his film career in 1993 as Ahchoo in Mel Brooks’ Robin Hood: Men in Tights, he landed supporting roles in box office hits including The Nutty Professor, Con Air, You’ve Got Mail, Blue Streak and Undercover Brother. His first lead role was in the 1998 comedy film Half Baked, which he co-wrote with Neal Brennan. Chappelle also starred in the ABC TV series Buddies.
In 2003, Chappelle became more widely known for his sketch comedy television series, Chappelle’s Show, also co-written with Brennan, which ran until his retirement from the show two years later. The show continues to run in late-night syndication and on television networks around the world.
By 2006, Chappelle was called the “comic genius of America” by Esquire and, in 2013, “the best” by a Billboard writer.
Chappelle lives with his family in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and performs touring stand-up comedy all across the country. In 2009, Comedy Central ranked him No. 43 in the “100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time”.
Chappelle grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland, and attended Woodlin Elementary School. His parents were politically active, and the family house was visited by notable individuals including Pete Seeger and Johnny Hartman. The latter predicted he would be a comedian and, around this time, Chappelle’s 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 1991, he graduated from Washington’s Duke Ellington School of the Arts, where he studied theatre arts.