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Dave Chappelle

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David Khari Webber Chappelle (born August 24, 1973) is an American stand-up comedian, satirist and actor. In 2003, he became known for his popular sketch comedy television series, Chappelle's Show.

His stand-up comedy career started at the age of 14 performing in Washington, D.C.'s comedy circuit. After graduating from high school, Chappelle moved to New York City to pursue his stand-up comedy career. He gathered the courage to perform at Harlem's famed Apollo Theater in front of the infamous "Amateur Night" audience. The performance resulted in him being booed off the stage. Chappelle has described the experience as the moment that gave him the courage to continue his show business aspirations. He quickly made a name for himself in the New York City comedy circuit, even performing in the city's parks. At the age of 19, Chappelle made his film debut as "Ahchoo" in Mel Brooks's Robin Hood: Men in Tights. That same year, he had a small but showy role in the film Undercover Blues. On the strength of his performances in these films, Chappelle was offered the role of Bubba in Forrest Gump, which was in a pre-production stage. Not realizing the impact this future Best Picture Oscar would have, and concerned about what seemed to be a racially-demeaning character, he turned down the part. He has since admitted to regretting the decision. Chappelle played another supporting movie role in 1994's little-seen Getting In.

Additionally, the DVD set, Chappelle's Show Season One Uncensored!, 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.Chappelle as Rick James in the popular "Rick James sketch".

In May 2005, Chappelle stunned fans and the entertainment industry when he abruptly left during production of the third season of Chappelle's Show. Chappelle has since stated that he was unhappy with the direction the show had taken, claiming pressure from network executives regarding the show's content. Chappelle left the United States to visit South Africa. His decision to visit South Africa while leaving the public in the dark regarding the details about his absence triggered reports of drug problems. On May 14, Chappelle gave an interview to Time Magazine's South African bureau chief. Chappelle denied any drug or mental problems though he did have a 40 minute session with a psychiatrist. Chappelle stated that his reasons for visiting South Africa were to reflect on his life and career.

Chappelle likes to skateboard as a hobby and says he tries to find skateparks in the cities he performs in. He made an appearance skateboarding in the Signature Video Magazine Volume 1. The video features a short clip of Dave skating at Project 58 in Raleigh, North Carolina. He made another appearance skating on the first episode of Chappelle's Show during the closing credits.


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