Dave Chappelle Net Worth: How Rich Is the Famed Comedian?

How Rich is Dave Chappelle
Photo: Eugene Gologursky / Stringer / Getty Images

Netflix recently released the trailer for Dave Chappelle’s two new specials, Dave Chappelle: The Age of Spin and Dave Chappelle: Deep in the Heart of Texas. Both will air on March 21, with a third one expected at a later date. These will mark the comedian’s return since his 2004 comedy special, Dave Chappelle: For What It’s Worth.

Starting in the early 1990’s and rising through the ranks of stand-up routines, films, and his own TV series, Chappelle gained a reputation of being the heir to comic thrones, left by the likes of Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, George Carlin, and others that have never been afraid to crack wise about the state of the world and an assortment of controversial social issues. In the process, Chappelle has gained great wealth and has become a household name around the world.

Early Life

While some comics come from tough homes or rough urban areas, Chappelle came from intellectualism. Dave Chappelle’s childhood household included an Antioch College professor father and a Howard University professor mother. Growing up, his parents exposed him to radical music and politics. While attending the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington DC, Chappelle became a fan of comics like Richard Pryor, Paul Mooney, and Eddie Murphy, and focused exclusively on theater and performing.

Gaining Fame

After performing at an amateur night at the Apollo Theater in New York City where he was booed off stage, Chappelle set about to seriously pursue his comedy career. In 1993, at the age of 19, Chappelle appeared in Mel Brooks’ Robin Hood Men in Tights in a strong supporting role before being an opening act to soul singer, Aretha Franklin.

Later, Chappelle had minor roles in films such as The Nutty Professor, Con Air and gained cult status with the 1998 comedy, Half Baked. After more success on TV, he starred in Dave Chappelle’s Block Party, a Michel Gondry-directed documentary that featured the famous Dave Chappelle house called Broken Angel in Brooklyn. It featured several famous hip-hop stars including Mos Def, The Fugees, and The Roots for a block party. It grossed over $7.0 million dollars in profit, an uncommon achievement for a documentary film.

Dave Chappelle TV Shows

Many people think that Chappelle had only one hit TV show, the Comedy Central 2003-2006 series called Chappelle’s Show, and that it made him famous for parodying celebrities like Prince and Rick James, and creating memorable recurring characters like Leonard Washington and Tyrone Biggums. In fact, Chappelle had shot several pilots in the 1990’s that were never taken into syndication. He also developed the Home Improvement spin-off called Buddies, from his appearance on the former series, which ran for five episodes but was cancelled due to poor ratings.

Chappelle’s Show performed well and even earned Emmy nominations. However, due to a personal crisis in 2006, Chappelle abruptly left the series, causing a rift with the Comedy Central network and his partner, Neal Brennan.

Return to Stand-Up and the Trump Connection

Unlike some comedians who transition successfully to TV or films, Dave Chappelle hasn’t abandoned his stand-up comedy roots. His routines for Comic Relief, Dave Chapelle: Killin’ Them Softly and For What It’s Worth have all been successful on cable TV and on DVD.

Related to this was an appearance made on Friday, November 4, where, at the Cutting Room comedy club in New York, Chappelle made disparaging comments about Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton. Many took this as endorsement for Donald Trump’s campaign. Chappelle denied this and lampooned the election a week later during his Saturday Night Live monologue. For 11 minutes, the opening Dave Chappelle SNL monologue made jokes about the election as a whole, but ended by saying he will “demand” a lot from Donald Trump to earn Chappelle’s trust as a good president.

Dave Chappelle’s Net Worth

Most of his activities in stand-up comedy appearances, TV and films have gained Dave Chappelle a grand net worth of a whopping $22.0 million.

However, Dave Chappelle endorsements for brands like Pepsi, Gillette, and Coca-Cola have also contributed to this. The comedian makes fewer appearances these days but is still loved by many, as Chappelle’s comedy series still airs reruns and his stand-up shows continue to be featured on TV.

Earnings Per Year Total ($)
2002 $12 million
2003 $22 million
2015 $7.5 million
Current Total Net Worth $16 million

According to The Richest, Dave Chappelle’s reported salary for The Chappelle Show was $2.5 million per season. He made an agreement to sign the show for two seasons, however, Chappelle abruptly walked away from the deal before filming the third season because he preferred to do stand-up comedy.

Home Life

Though he makes waves in the public, Dave Chappelle is notoriously low-key about his private life. Dave Chappelle’s wife is Elaine Chappelle and he lives on a farm in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Dave Chappelle’s children, named Sulayman, Ibrahim, and daughter Sonal, have African and Filipino heritage from their parents’ lineages. Check out Dave Chappelle’s two new comedy specials, Dave Chappelle: The Age of Spin and Dave Chappelle: Deep in the Heart of Texas which will both air on March 21 exclusively on Netflix.

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