Alumnus Dave Chappelle gives Emmy to students of Duke Ellington School of the Arts
WASHINGTON (WUSA9) – Comedian Dave Chappelle, a DC native, was at his alma mater Friday to receive an award when he awarded the school with his Emmy.
“Just so you know even though the odds are wildly against it, this can happen for you,” Chappelle said.
Mayor Muriel Bowser invited him to the school to award him the key to the city. The comedian graduated from Duke Ellington School of the Arts in 1991. Chappelle talked with students about his time there and what he remembered most about his experiences.
Bowser gave Chappelle the city’s highest honor “out of recognition for his comedic craft, artistic merit, promotion of DC Values, and overall perseverance.”
“Some very special native Washingtonians have dedicated their lives to making Washington, DC better, and they’ve gone above and beyond to show others what makes the nation’s capital the best city in the world,” Bowser said. “Dave Chappelle reminds us what it means to live a life filled with purpose, meaning, and laughter.”
Chappelle gave DC Public Schools a shoutout at the Emmys leading the #dcpublicschools to trend nationwide on Twitter.
WASHINGTON – Comedian Dave Chappelle received a huge honor from his hometown of Washington D.C. as he received a Key to the City from Mayor Muriel Bowser.
Chappelle was given the award at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, the school he graduated from back in 1991.
The Key to the City is considered the highest honor the city can give and Chappelle received it in recognition of his comedic craft, artistic merit, promotion of D.C. Values and overall perseverance.
He is celebrating his 30th year in show business ranging in a variety of roles from performing standup comedy to being actor, writer and producer on big screen and on television, which includes his widely popular sketch comedy television show, “Chappelle’s Show.”
“Some very special native Washingtonians have dedicated their lives to making Washington D.C. better, and they’ve gone above and beyond to show others what makes the nation’s capital the best city in the world,” said Mayor Bowser. “Dave Chappelle reminds us what it means to live a life filled with purpose, meaning, and laughter.”
Chappelle was recently awarded an Emmy Award for his guest hosting appearance on “Saturday Night Live.” He has decided to leave the trophy with the students and staff at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts.
“I want you guys to have this,” Chappelle said. “Just so you know that even though the odds are widely against you, this can happen for you if you guys just stay true to yourselves. So this is the people’s Emmy, and every once in a while, just take a look at it and just know I started earning this Emmy at this school.
Chappelle hasn’t been shy in letting everyone know where he grew up. He recently made headlines for giving D.C. Public Schools a shout out at the Emmy Awards and helping make the hashtag #DCPublicSchools go viral on Twitter.
The D.C. native is wrapping up an 11-day comedy tour run in the nation’s capital as he has been performing sold-out shows at the Warner Theatre this month….
Dave Chappelle Receives Key to D.C.
After praising D.C. Public Schools during the Emmys broadcast on Sept. 17, comedian, actor and film director Dave Chappelle was at the center of a media and public frenzy at Duke Ellington School of the Arts on Sept. 29. The public high school auditorium thundered with applause as Chappelle, 44, walked onstage dressed casually in a black hoodie and cargo pants to receive a symbolic key to the city from Mayor Muriel Bowser.
On Sept. 29, Dave Chappelle gave his Emmy trophy to his alma mater, Duke Ellington School of the Arts. (Courtesy Photo)
During the ceremony, Bowser called the Emmy-award-winning performer a “man who has made . . . lasting contributions to our cultural heritage and to humanity.”
Chappelle’s roots in the city and the surrounding metropolitan area run deep. He is a third-generation Washingtonian who spent part of his childhood in Silver Spring, Md. His mother, Yvonne Seon, is a former professor at Howard University, the University of Maryland, and Prince George’s County Community College.
As a Duke Ellington alum, graduating in 1991, Chappelle has said he began his standup career as a high school student in past interviews. While his career flourished from gigs at local comedy clubs to his megahit, politically incorrect comedy sketch show, his offscreen resume is equally impressive. He is a longtime philanthropist and has donated to causes such as Seeds of Peace International Camp, which connects emerging leaders from communities with social conflicts; singer Rihanna’s Diamond Ball fundraiser; and $50,000 to embattled Flint, Mich., in the wake of its water crisis.
Chappelle also has had a resounding impact on the Washington, D.C. comedy scene, according to popular local comedian Adrian Rodney, who frequently performs at the DC Improv. Rodney said he and other area comedians admire Chappelle’s ability to be a critically acclaimed humorist while also advocating for social justice and charitable causes.
“Chappelle being from D.C. helped local potential comedians know it’s possible to make it and be from the area,” said Rodney, 33. “I personally credit his stand up special, “Killing Me Softly,” at the Lincoln Center for getting me into comedy. It made my dream attainable. I also think it’s important for people in show business to give back to the community like Chappelle has done and use their talents to not only entertain, but also to empower.”