Last Updated: April 8, 2024
Richest CelebritiesRichest Comedians
Net Worth:
$70 Million
Aug 24, 1973 (50 years old)
Washington, D.C.
6 ft (1.83 m)
Actor, Comedian, Film Producer, Television producer, Artist, Screenwriter
United States of America
💰 Compare Dave Chappelle's Net Worth

What Is Dave Chappelle's Net Worth and Salary?

Dave Chappelle is an American comedian, actor, screenwriter, and producer who has a net worth of $70 million. Over the years, Dave Chappelle has appeared in dozens of films and TV shows, but he is most well-known for his standup specials. His Netflix standup specials, in particular, are the source of the majority of Dave's fortune. As we explain in the next section, Netflix essentially has an open policy to pay Dave $20 million whenever he chooses to deliver them a special. As of this writing, he has done that four times (including his December 2023 special "The Dreamer.")

Dave gained fame in the early 2000s with "Chappelle's Show," a sketch comedy series on Comedy Central that was both a critical and commercial success. Known for his fearless approach to sensitive topics like race, culture, and politics, Chappelle's style combines sharp wit with a relaxed, conversational delivery. Despite reaching significant heights with his show, he unexpectedly left during the third season, citing the stress of the show's demands and discomfort with its direction. After a hiatus, he made a triumphant return to stand-up comedy, releasing several acclaimed specials on Netflix, further solidifying his status as one of the greatest comedians of his generation. His work has earned him numerous accolades, including Emmy and Grammy awards, and he remains a significant and influential figure in the world of comedy.

Netflix Deal

In November 2016, it was announced that Dave had signed a deal with Netflix to deliver three standup specials to the streaming service. He was reportedly paid $60 million for the specials, one of the largest deals ever paid to a comedian for any medium. He earned another $20 million for his special "The Dreamer," which was released on December 31, 2023. As of this writing, Dave has earned $80 million from Netflix for his specials.

Early Life

Dave Chappelle was born David Khari Webber Chappelle on August 24, 1973, in Washington, D.C. His parents, Yvonne Chappelle Seon and William David Chappelle III, were professors. His great-grandfather, Bishop D. Chappelle, was the president of Allen University. Chappelle was raised in Silver Spring, Maryland. He grew up idolizing Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor, and family friends, regaled with Dave's humorous antics and monologues, often commented that Chappelle would likely grow up to be a comedian. Dave's parents separated when he was young, and he primarily lived with his mother while spending summers in Ohio with his dad. He graduated in 1991 from Duke Ellington School of the Art, where he studied theater.

Early Career

After high school, Dave moved to New York City to pursue a career in comedy. He performed at the Apollo Theater's Amateur Night (and was subsequently booed off stage) but soon made a name for himself anyway on the New York comedy circuit. He appeared on HBO's "Def Comedy Jam" in 1992 and won critical and popular acclaim for his performance. This was a turning point in his popularity, and he became a regular guest on the late-night circuit on shows like "Late Show with David Letterman," "The Howard Stern Show," and "Late Night with Conan O'Brien." At age 19, he landed a gig as the opening act for Aretha Franklin.

Chappelle made his film debut at the age of 20 in the 1993 Mel Brooks comedy "Robin Hood: Men in Tights." Dave landed a few other film roles, including a small part in the 1996 Eddie Murphy film "The Nutty Professor." In 1998, he starred in and co-wrote the stoner film "Half Baked."

"Chappelle's Show"

After several failed television pilots, in 2003, Dave launched the sketch comedy series "Chappelle's Show." The show was wildly popular and ran for two successful seasons and was nominated for three Emmy Awards.

One of the most iconic aspects of "Chappelle's Show" was its ability to create viral catchphrases and characters. Sketches like "The Racial Draft," "Charlie Murphy's True Hollywood Stories," and "The Wayne Brady Show" became cultural touchstones, widely quoted and referenced. The portrayal of celebrities, such as Rick James and Prince, in these sketches added to their legendary status.

Despite its comedic nature, "Chappelle's Show" was also a platform for social critique. It fearlessly tackled issues such as institutional racism, police brutality, and media stereotypes, often presenting them in a manner that was as thought-provoking as it was humorous. This blend of comedy and commentary resonated with a wide audience, making the show a critical and commercial success.

$50 Million Contract

Dave abruptly left during production of the third season, though Comedy Central later aired the episodes created without him. Chappelle cited the fact that he did not like the direction the show was going, that he was overworked with 20-hour workdays, and did not have time to devote to his stand-up career as reasons for leaving.

Walking away from the show meant the cancellation of a $50 million contract with Comedy Central.



In 2004, Michel Gondry directed "Dave Chappelle's Block Party," a documentary about a rap concert hosted by Chappelle in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, which featured a number of rap and hip-hop performances, including the reunion of The Fugees.

Between 2005 and 2013, Dave dabbled in various stand-up acts and TV show appearances before making a major career comeback in 2013. He returned to headlining his own stand-up tours. In June 2014, he returned to the New York City circuit for the first time in 11 years and performed ten nights at Radio City Music Hall. Chappelle hosted "Saturday Night Live" for the first time on November 12, 2016, the weekend after Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election. His eloquent and biting opening monologue and subsequent sketch performances were critically acclaimed and loved by audiences, and he received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his performance. He donated his Emmy to his former high school.

Dave Chappelle Net Worth

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Continued Success and Accolades

Chappelle has continued to reap the rewards of his long, sometimes hard-fought-for career. He has won five Grammy Awards for Best Comedy Album, and "Equanimity" and "Sticks & Stones" each won an Emmy for Outstanding Variety Special.

Dave made a big return to the movie world when he appeared in "A Star is Born," playing Noodles, the best friend of Bradley Cooper's character. The movie was a massive success and went on to garner numerous prestigious nominations and awards, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture. Jon Stewart and Chappelle joined forces on a comedy tour in 2018, and he appeared with Aziz Ansari for three standup shows in Austin, Texas. In 2019, he was given the annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, presented by the Kennedy Center. In November 2022, Chappelle hosted "Saturday Night Live" for the third time.

(Photo by Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Bombay Sapphire Gin)

Personal Life

Chappelle has been married to Elaine Mendoza Erfe since 2001. They have three children together: sons, Sulayman and Ibrahim, and a daughter, Sanaa. The family lives on a 65-acre farm near Yellow Springs, Ohio. Chappelle also owns several houses in Xenia, Ohio.

Dave converted to Islam in 1998. He threw his support behind Andrew Yang in the 2020 presidential election. Dave donates his time to Seeds of Peace International Camp in Maine. The organization brings young leaders together from communities in conflict. He organized the Gem City Shine Charity concert in August 2019 in Dayton, Ohio, with a star-studded lineup consisting of artists like Stevie Wonder and Chance the Rapper. The benefit concert was held in honor of the victim of the August 4, 2019, Dayton shooting and raised nearly $70,000 for the Oregon District Tragedy Fund.

Dave Chappelle Career Earnings

  • Chappelle's Show
    $1 Million
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