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Dave Chappelle is a comedian whose Comedy Central show Chappelle's Show became a smash hit in the mid-2000s.
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Dave Chappelle, who idolized the comedy of Bill Cosby as a young boy, is famous for racially provocative and envelope-pushing comedy.
Bernie Mac rose from the streets of Chicago to become a worldwide sensational comedian and actor.
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Dave Chappelle began making appearances in films such as Robin Hood: Men In Tights and Half Baked in the mid-1990s. In 2003, Chappelle landed his own show on Comedy Central called Chappelle's Show. He received two Emmy nominations for the wildly popular and controversial show, which frequently addressed race relations. In 2006 he abruptly quit and moved to a farm in Ohio.
Comedian, actor. Born David Khari Webber Chappelle on August 24, 1973, in Washington, D.C. Chappelle's parents were both professors—his father, William, taught at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and his mother, Yvonne, worked as a professor at Howard University and eventually University of Maryland, while also serving as a Unitarian minister. Chappelle's parents separated when Dave was 6 years old, and he began splitting time between his parents' home in Wasington and Ohio.
Inspired by the sitcom The Cosby Show and its star, comedian Bill Cosby, Chappelle decided he, too, wanted to have a career as a comedian. As a high school student at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C., Chappelle began a stand-up career. Because he was underage, his mother often had to accompany him to clubs as a legal guardian. Even at an early age, Chappelle's brand of humor was controversial, leading to frequent heckling—he was even booed offstage during amateur night at New York's famous Apollo Theatre.
Chappelle decided to forgo college to start a stand-up career in New York City. By the early 1990s, he was earning accolades for his comedy. He then began making appearances in films such as Robin Hood: Men In Tights (1993), The Nutty Professor (1996) and Half Baked (1998).
In 2003, Chappelle landed his own show on the Comedy Central cable network called Chappelle's Show. Chappelle received two Emmy nominations for the wildly popular and controversial show, which frequently addressed race relations and featured musical guests. Chappelle's Show was about to begin its third season, when Chappelle abruptly left during production. Unhappy with the direction the show had taken; stressed by the pressure from network executives to change the tone of the comedy; and emotionally worn from his father's 1998 death, Chappelle left the United States to visit South Africa. Upon his return, he began a more reclusive life, moving to Yellow Springs, Ohio, and appearing publicly in only a handful of stand-up comedy appearances.
Chappelle currently lives on a farm in Yellow Springs, Ohio, with his wife, Elaine, and sons Sulayman and Ibrahim.
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From the early comedy of Nipsey Russell, Richard Pryor and Bill Cosby to the contemporary routines of Steve Harvey, Mo'Nique, Chris Rock, Wanda Sykes and Dave Chappelle, black comedians have often used their wit to become the voice and face of the African-American experience. These legendary comedians have also set a very high bar—not only for African Americans, but for all comics trying to make it in show business. Learn more about these famous jokesters, from their early days to their comic beginnings, to their side-splitting performances and more.
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