David Khari Webber "Dave" Chappelle (pronounced /ʃəˈpɛl/; born August 24, 1973) is an American comedian, screenwriter, television/film producer, actor, artist, and skateboarder. Chappelle began his film career in the film Robin Hood: Men in Tights in 1993 and continued to star in minor roles in the films The Nutty Professor, Con Air, and Blue Streak. His first lead role in a film was in Half Baked in 1998. In 2003, he became widely known for his popular sketch comedy television series, Chappelle's Show, which ran until 2006. Comedy Central ranked him forty-third in its list of the 100 greatest stand-up comedians.
Chappelle was born in Washington D.C. His father, William David Chappelle III, was a professor at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. His mother, Yvonne (née Reed), was a professor at Howard University, Prince George's Community College, and the University of Maryland and is also a Unitarian Universalist minister. Chappelle has stated in his stand-up performances that his mother is half-white. Chappelle grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland and attended Woodlin Elementary School. During young Chappelle's formative years, his comic inspiration came from various comedians, particularly 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.