Dave Chappelle Details
Dave Chappelle started like every other comedian: Bombing. Getting booed off stage, to be exact, at amateur night at New York City’s Apollo Theater. From that point forward, though, he carved a path different than that of any performer before or since. At the age of 19, he both made an appearance in the film Robin Hood: Men in Tights and opened for Aretha Franklin with stand-up. He kept getting minor film and TV roles throughout the ’90s, including The Nutty Professor, Con Air and the Larry Sanders Show. In 1998, he teamed up with Neal Brennan to write Half Baked, a stoner film that remains a cult classic today among, well, stoners. It was also Chappelle’s first starring role in a film.
It wouldn’t be the last of the Chappelle-Brennan partnership and, masterpiece as Half Baked certainly is, it wouldn’t be their best work together. That would be Chappelle’s Show, a sketch comedy show that aired weekly on Comedy Central. The show has a rightful claim to the title of greatest sketch show of all time, and it certainly aired some of the greatest sketches of all time: Black Klan Leader and the Racial Draft are up there, as are the late Charlie Murphy’s portrayals of Rick James and Prince. After signing a $55 million contract to continue the show, though, Chappelle left the country without notice, abandoning the show to spend time alone in Africa. He laid low for a while upon his return, but has jumped back into stand-up within the last few years. His star shines as bright as ever: He signed a $60 million contract with Netflix, and he’s not leaving this one on the table.