How Dave Chappelle Became One Of The Richest Comedians In The World
Photo Credit: Christopher Polk

How Dave Chappelle Became One Of The Richest Comedians In The World

In August, comedian Damon Wayans Sr. called out Dave Chappelle in an attempt to challenge him to a comedy VERZUZ.

“Do they do it with comedians?” he asked the KBXX 97.9 The Box hosts, after confirming that he didn’t keep up with all the VERZUZ battles (for shame, Damon). When the hosts asked whom he would call out in a comedy VERZUZ, he immediately named Dave Chappelle without a second thought.

Aside from the fact that Chappelle would roast Wayans Sr. alive in a potential VERZUZ battle, the two comedians can’t even compare to one another. He’s a comedic legend who continues to give back to the community as a whole — as evidenced by both his commitment to good causes (such as a fundraiser for 9/11 survivors) and to his local community.

Most notably, at the height of his career, Dave Chappelle walked away from his Comedy Central show, “Chappelle’s Show,” and untold millions of dollars in residuals and profits, simply because he was seeking balance in his life.

“Coming here, I don’t have the distractions of fame. It quiets the ego down. I’m interested in the kind of person I’ve got to become. I want to be well-rounded and the industry is a place of extremes. I want to be well-balanced. I’ve got to check my intentions, man,” he said at the time.

In a nutshell, he’s a legend. Let’s take a look at his net worth, his career highlights, and answer all the other questions you may have about his personal life.

Editorial Note: The net worth reported in this piece is a speculative estimate from various online sources.

What's Dave Chappelle's Net Worth?

Dave Chappelle made No. 98 on Forbes’ 2018 list of the Celebrity 100, but dropped off the list in 2019.

Nevertheless, according to the outlet, he has a net worth of $38 million. (Celebrity Net Worth estimates that Chappelle’s net worth is around the $50 million mark, as well.)

Most of Chappelle’s net worth comes from his paydays for various Netflix comedy specials. In 2016, Chappelle was paid a whopping $60 million for his specials — a record at the time, and one of the largest deals ever paid to a comedian in any medium.

“Between June 2016 and June 2017, Dave earned $47 million. Between June 2017 and June 2018, Dave earned $35 million,” reported Celebrity Net Worth.

Chappelle also has some money in real estate. He lives with his family on a 65 acre farm in Yellow Springs, OH, and owns several houses in nearby Xenia, OH as well.

Dave Chappelle: Bio

Born David Khari Webber Chappelle in Yellow Springs, OH, Chappelle came from an educational background. His father, William David Chappelle III, was the dean of students at Antioch College. His mother, Yvonne, worked for Congolese prime minister Patrice Lumumba.

Jazz musician Johnny Hartman was the first to tell Chappelle that he should become a comedian, and in 1990, he got his “big break” on ABC’s “America’s Funniest People.”

Dave Chappelle: Career Highlights

In 2006, Dave Chappelle was called “the comedy genius of America” by Esquire Magazine, and by 2017, he was named in the top 10 of Rolling Stone’s Greatest Comedians of All Time.

In 2017, Chappelle received his first Emmy award for his guest-hosting role on “SNL.” The next year, he received a Grammy for his comedy album, “The Age of Spin & Deep in the Heart of Texas.”

He’s also the recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, the highest award a comedian can achieve in the United States.

Is Dave Chappelle Married?

In 2001, Dave Chappelle married Elaine Mendoza Erfe in a Muslim ceremony. Chappelle converted to Islam in the late 1990s. The pair share three children: sons Sulayman and Ibrahim, and daughter Sanaa.