Wise Life Lessons

47 Dave Chappelle Quotes on Success and Life

Dave Chappelle is an American standup comedian and actor. He is best well known for the ‘Chappelle’s Show’ from 2003 – 2006. Chappelle has acted in various movies such as Undercover Brother, Con-Air, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, The Nutty Professor, and many more. Chappelle is also known for his Standup Comedy shows throughout the years.

Check out these inspiring quotes by Dave Chappelle on his standup comedy, acting career, and life!

1. “My wife asked me once if I weren’t a comedian, what I would do. I couldn’t answer the question. I never imagined doing anything else.” – Dave Chappelle

2. “Most of the people around me have a vested interest in how much money I make. You know, so a celebrity could find themselves in a position where people could have meetings about their life without them involved. And when I say “their life” I mean not their professional life either. They could talk about their personal life.” – Dave Chappelle

3. “The only way you can know where the line is, is if you cross it.” – Dave Chappelle

4. “Things like racism are institutionalized. You might not know any bigots. You feel like “well I don’t hate black people so I’m not a racist,” but you benefit from racism. Just by the merit, the color of your skin. The opportunities that you have, you’re privileged in ways that you might not even realize because you haven’t been deprived of certain things. We need to talk about these things in order for them to change.” – Dave Chappelle

5. “I have angst in my life, but I’m like anybody. We all have angst in our lives that we pick up and fidget with and then we put down and look at some other things that make us feel good or enjoy our lives.” – Dave Chappelle

6. “My kids look actually happy. And I learned early on that perfectionism and parenthood is a toxic combination for everybody involved. In other words, so many things can flourish naturally. All you gotta do is make sure the soil’s right. I view myself more like a guide than a ruler.” – Dave Chappelle

7. “You get sick of jokes, you know. Either I do them on TV, and then you worry, like, “Oh, everyone’s gonna see it,” so you chuck it, or you just get sick of saying it. After a while, a joke, if you say it too much, just becomes contrived, or fake-sounding.” – Dave Chappelle

8. “You know you must be doing something right if old people like you.” – Dave Chappelle

9. “No matter how old you are, if a little kid hands you a toy phone, you answer it.” – Dave Chappelle

10. “The higher up I went, the less happy I was.” – Dave Chappelle

11. “I support anyone’s right to be who they want to be. My question is: to what extent do I have to participate in your self-image?” – Dave Chappelle

12. “Once you been performing on the streets you can conquer any venue.” – Dave Chappelle

13. “I care about the work I do. But I’m not going to say that money’s not an issue.” – Dave Chappelle

14. “I’m cool with failing so long as I know that there are people around me that love me unconditionally.” – Dave Chappelle

15. “The mark of greatness is when everything before you is obsolete, and everything after you bears your mark.” – Dave Chappelle

16. “I always take a relationship to the next level. If that works out, I take it to the next level after that, until I finally reach that level when it becomes absolutely necessary for me to leave.” – Dave Chappelle

17. “The world can’t tell you who you are. You’ve just got to figure out who you are and be there, for better or worse.” – Dave Chappelle

18. “The kid is the best thing that ever happened to me.” – Dave Chappelle

19. “I got a lot of positive people around me.” – Dave Chappelle

20. “You’ve got to say ‘yes’ to your destiny. Life’s happening right now, look around you. There goes some life. Come on, Mamma, live!” – Dave Chappelle

21. “You got to be careful of the company you keep.” – Dave Chappelle


Photo Credit: wallpapercave

23. “Most people don’t know what it’s like to stand up there and speak their mind. I have a venue to do that. I get paid to do that. It’s not like I’m doing heavy lifting up there. It’s not like I’m solving the world’s problems. It’s like I’m hanging out with a bunch of people and it’s cool.” – Dave Chappelle

24. “They do what they do for money – that’s all. I don’t even know why you’re listening to me. I’ve done commercials for both Coke and Pepsi. Truth is, I can’t even taste the difference, but Pepsi paid me last, so there it is.” – Dave Chappelle

25. “I’m happier in the way a guy gets happier when he starts to mature. It doesn’t make things easier, but I’m so much better at handling them.” – Dave Chappelle

26. “I felt in a lot of instances I was deliberately being put through stress because when you’re a guy who generates money, people have a vested interest in controlling you.” – Dave Chappelle

27. “There’s something about doing stand-up that’s cathartic.” – Dave Chappelle

28. “I was 23. When you’re 23, your concern is not for the greater good of humanity. I didn’t feel like I was unleashing an evil on society or anything. At the time, that’s what I was into, and I did a movie about it.” – Dave Chappelle

29. “I enjoy my own thoughts sometimes.” – Dave Chappelle

30. “Comedians by and large are some of the most sensitive people on earth. Even if they’re socially callous.” – Dave Chappelle

31. “You can’t get unfamous. You can get infamous but you can’t get unfamous.” – Dave Chappelle

32. “There’s not too many people that don’t think I’m crazy, for walking away from so much money. I’m at a restaurant with my wife, it’s a nice restaurant, we’re eating dinner. I look across the room, I say, ‘You see this guy over here, across the room? He has $100 million.’ And we’re eating the same entree. So, OK, fine, I don’t have $50 million or whatever it was, but say I have $10 million in the bank. The difference in lifestyle is minuscule.”” – Dave Chappelle

33. “Every black American is bilingual. All of them. We speak street vernacular and we speak ‘job interview.’” – Dave Chappelle

34. “My father told me ‘Name your price in the beginning. If it ever gets more expensive than the price you name, get out of there.’” – Dave Chappelle

35. “Something about New York, man: You can do more comedy there probably than you can anywhere in the world. If you’re interested in being funny, New York is the place to go.” – Dave Chappelle

36. “I started when I was 14. I figured out that’s what I wanted to do when I was 14. Even when I was six, I can remember people telling me, “You’re gonna be a comedian,” and all this stuff.” – Dave Chappelle

37. “Constantly take inventory of what’s important to you.” – Dave Chappelle

38. “If I can make a teacher’s salary doing comedy, I think that’s better than being a teacher.” – Dave Chappelle

39. “I was doing sketches that were funny but socially irresponsible. I felt I was deliberately being encouraged and I was overwhelmed.” – Dave Chappelle

40. “Dave! Relax! Close your buttcheeks!” – Dave Chappelle

41. “Everyone who wants to make it in comedy goes to L.A., so a million comedians fight for time on three stages. If you get in there in New York, you’re working eight times a night sometimes. Who’s going to be funny, the guy who works once a week, or the guy working eight times a night?” – Dave Chappelle

42. “Money is the fuel for choices. Money gives me choices, so it’s not nothing, it’s something. But it’s not the end-all, be all. There are other things in my life that I did not purchase with money that are very valuable.” – Dave Chappelle

43. “The worst thing to call somebody is crazy. It’s dismissive.” – Dave Chappelle

44. “The biggest enemy of an artist is apathy… A kid gets killed by the police and I buy a T-shirt and before I can wear that one, there’s another kid (killed) and I’m running out of closet space.” – Dave Chappelle

45. “One of the things that happens when people make the leap from a certain amount of money to tens of millions of dollars is that the people around you dramatically change.” – Dave Chappelle

46. “You know, be able to do something great in your life, you’re gonna have to realize your failures. You’re gonna have to embrace them and figure out how to overcome it.” – Dave Chappelle

47. “If you don’t have the right people around you and you’re moving at a million miles an hour you can lose yourself.” – Dave Chappelle

Which Dave Chappelle quote is your favorite and why? Comment below!

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