Who is Dave Chappelle’s wife?

Dave Chappelle has been a consistent presence in comedy since the early ’90s, when he first sauntered onto an Amateur Night stage.

In the years since, Chappelle has secured minor roles in a range of movies and filmed a number of pilot episodes before eventually getting the go-ahead to launch his own series, The Chapelle Show, in 2003. 

The show was a near-instant hit, thriving on Comedy Central for several years before controversy tripped it up. Chappelle ultimately left the show midway through season 3’s production, embarking on a trip to South Africa to reflect and “check” his “intentions,” according to a 2005 interview with Time.

Following his departure from Comedy Central, Chappelle made infrequent appearances at comedy venues but didn’t make a notable return to comedy until 2013. His career saw a resurgence between 2013 and 2017, as he dedicated himself to touring and filming several comedy specials for Netflix.

More than 30 years and several Grammys later, Chappelle’s career is still going strong. Despite the consistent work he’s found throughout his adult life, the 48-year-old still found time to start a family, meeting and marrying his wife, Elaine Mendoza Erfe, in 2001, and welcoming three children into the world. 

Dave Chappelle’s wife

Ethan Miller/Getty Images for SHOWTIME

Unlike many spouses to famous people, Elaine Chappelle does her best to stay off the radar. She and Chappelle do their best to keep their home and family life private, a task that’s made easier by their place of residence. The Chappelle family has a home in Yellow Springs, Ohio, a quiet community with a relatively small population. This allows them to maintain a reasonably low-profile lifestyle without the stress of paparazzi or overeager fans. 

Elaine was born to Filipino parents in 1974, according to Newsweek. She tends to avoid appearing in public with Chappelle but does occasionally accompany him to large events. Newsweek also notes that Elaine had dreams, early in life, of becoming a chef, but ultimately chose instead to dedicate her time to the couple’s three children.

The pair live with their children — Sulayman, Ibrahim, and Sanaa — on a large farm in Chappelle’s hometown. In 2006, Chappelle told his neighbors that it “turns out you don’t need $50 million to live around these parts, just a nice smile and a kind way about you.” He went on to call the residents of Yellow Springs the “best neighbors ever.”