After writing and co-creating Chappelle’s Show (arguably one of the greatest sketch series of all time), and maintaining a successful stand-up career (dude is brilliant), it’s hard to imagine that Dave Chappelle wasn’t always a household name. But at one point he too was a comedian taking minor roles on TV, and in movies — in some cases turning them down (he was offered Bubba in Forrest Gump). On his birthday, let’s take a look at some of the lesser-remembered roles you may have forgotten about.
1. Con Air
Chappelle co-starred as a convict getting transferred via airplane in this Nicolas Cage movie. *Spoiler alert* things do not end well.
2. Blue Streak
Chappelle starred as a less-than-intimidating “stone cold killer” along with fellow comedian Martin Lawrence in 1999.
3. Home Improvement
Chappelle’s appearance on Home Improvement with fellow comedian Jim Breur was so well received that it led to a TV series called Buddies, which lasted all of five episodes.
4. The Nutty Professor
Yes, Dave Chappelle was the crazy zebra top hat-wearing club comedian who opened his set with “Women be shoppin, baby,'” and then went on to claim that Jimmy Hoffa was hidden in The Nutty Professor’s ass.
5. Robin Hood: Men In Tights
Chappelle’s role in this film is the reason that whenever someone sneezes near me I have to look around to make sure he isn’t getting jumped by a group of knights.
6. You’ve Got Mail
Yes, it was Chappelle who eventually reveals to Tom Hanks that he has been emailing with Meg Ryan for the entirety of the AOL smash-hit You’ve Got Mail.