Who Is Dave Chappelle's Wife? Everything You Need To Know About Elaine Chappelle

A look into the private life of world-famous comedian Dave Chappelle and his long-time wife Elaine.

Dave Chappelle Getty

One of the most successful stand-up comedians of all time, Dave Chappelle is also critically-successful — and the comedian often credits his success to wife Elaine Chappelle.

Ranking high on Rolling Stone's 2017 list of the "50 Best Stand Up Comics of All Time," Chappelle is also the winner of multiple Emmy Awards and Grammy Awards, beyond being the recipient of the Mark Twain Prize For American Humor, the full Kennedy Center special which has recently been released on Netflix.


Chappelle may have become a household name as a result of Comedy Central's Chappelle's Show series in the early 2000s, but his career was a long time in the making before that. He had been on Def Comedy Jam, Star Search, America's Funniest People, and even the star of a short-lived Home Improvement spin-off sit-com called Buddies.

In November 2016 it was announced Chappelle would be releasing three new stand-up comedy specials via Netflix in 2017, with a $20 million paycheck for each special. That sort of a high-profile arrangement put Chappelle back into the mainstream after choosing to focus on lower-profile projects for a number of years.


Chappelle's Netflix specials simultaneously won major awards while drawing fire from those offended by his sometimes shocking viewpoints.

But who is Dave Chappelle's wife, Elaine Chappelle?

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Elaine Chappelle was born Elaine Mendoza Erfe on August 31, 1974, and raised in Brooklyn, New York. As a Brooklyn native, she reportedly had aspirations of being a chef since childhood.


Little is known about her educational or employment background prior to beginning her relationship with Dave Chappelle. It's said her parents were nationals of the Philippines who had emigrated to the United States in the 1970s.

Familial obligations aside, she reportedly manages rental properties owned by Dave.

It was not love at first sight for Dave and Elaine Chappelle.

It's said Elaine hesitated to date Dave initially because she was not comfortable with people who have strong personalities. However, she later recognized him to be a shy person, which changed her perspective on him.


The two met in Brooklyn, per an old Howard Stern appearance by Dave. Their first public appearance together was reported during Dayton, Ohio's annual Philippines-American picnic.

Elaine and Dave Chappelle got married in 2001.

It was done without much public fanfare. 

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The Chappelle's are not only a devoted couple but also parents to a tight-knit family.

While there are not many details available to the public about Elaine Chappelle, it's known she's a stay-at-home wife and mother.

She and Dave Chappelle have three kids together: two sons named Ibrahim and Sulayman and a daughter named Sonal.

Dave Chappelle has gone on-record about the importance of his family on many occasions, stressing the importance of work/life balance: “I want to tell my jokes. I want to have time with my children. I want to entertain people. And at one point, I’ll walk away from show business. But I don’t want to walk away empty-handed.”

Elaine and Dave Chappelle have made public appearances together.

Elaine and Dave Chappelle have made more public appearances than many people may realize. For starters, they were seen together at the SNL 40 red carpet, at a Manny Pacquiao fight, and multiple basketball games.


However, Elaine Chappelle is not known to have done any interviews within any of her red carpet appearances. Furthermore, her IMDb page does not list any on-camera appearances and shows any interview clips.

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Elaine Chappelle does have one career-related tie to Dave.

While her IMDb page does not list any appearances, the page does show her as being thanked as part of the credits for Dave Chappelle's The Age Of Spin: Dave Chappelle Live At The Hollywood Palladium 2017. Elaine Chappelle is also visible during on-camera footage.

Dave Chappelle has also worked his wife into some of his stand-up comedy, beyond occasionally talking about her in interviews. Showing her support of his career, he once directly referenced one of their conversations in an interview with regard to his professional path: "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.”

Chappelle further clarified that his CV is fairly limited: "This is the only job I've had since I was 14."


The Chappelles are on social media ... but very private.

While it's often reported that Elaine Chappelle is not on social media, she does have a private Instagram account. Billed as "E. Chappelle," her Instagram account includes a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt within the profile section.

Dave Chappelle on the other hand used a verified Twitter account until it was hacked. A verified Facebook account for Chappelle's Show appears to have nothing to deal with Chappelle himself. Meanwhile, there are hosts of imposter accounts for the comedian all over social media.

In turn, to keep up on the latest and greatest related to Elaine and/or Dave Chappelle, your best bet is likely to watch for official media press releases, advertised interviews, and upcoming stand-up date announcements.

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Darren Paltrowitz is a New York-based writer, editor, and author. He is also the host of the Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz podcast, as co-produced with PureGrainAudio.com.