Dave Chappelle is undoubtedly one of America’s most well-known comedians, rose to fame in the early 2000s for his Comedy Central show “Chapelle’s Show” to widespread critical acclaim and acclaim. He was named “Comic Genius of America” by Esquire in 2006 and ranked #9 in Rolling Stone’s “Best Stand Up Comics of All Time” in 2017. and he’s currently in the process of releasing four new Netflix stand-up specials in a multi-million dollar deal.
However, what many don’t know is that the famous comedian wasn’t always a stand-up comedian. In fact, he was even offered a role in the legendary Forrest Gump in his early acting years. Although he would eventually have starred alongside Tom Hanks in one of the biggest films of the decade, he eventually turned the role down, leading to an ironic twist of fate that would surely make for some great comedic material.
Dave Chappelle almost played Bubba in Forrest Gump
Lute! Shouldn’t the role of Benjamin Buford “Bubba” Blue in Robert Zemeckis’ classic 1994 film “Forrest Gump” always be played by Mykelti Williamson? Apparently, the role was initially offered to actors David Alan Grier and Dave Chappelle, as well as rapper Ice Cube. However, all three declined. Chappelle in particular did so because he feared the film would be a flop. As might be expected, he expressed regret for his decision, which in part led to Chappelle’s appearance in the 1998 hit You’ve Got Mail.
According to IMDb, ‘Forrest Gump’ star Tom Hanks was aware of Chappelle’s disappointment at not appearing in the cult film when he had the chance, so Hanks tried to make amends by promising to do so in the future to work with him. Four years later, after being offered the lead role in You, he suggested to director Nora Ephron that Chappelle be offered the role of his character’s best friend, Kevin. Ephron agreed and Chappelle was more than happy to agree.
Dave Chappelle later directed a film parodying Forrest Gump
Although he never got to star in Forrest Gump, Dave Chappelle eventually made his own version of the film, albeit a parodic one. In 1997, he released Bowl of Pork, a comedic short in which he starred as Black Forrest Gump, a dark black version of Hanks’ character who is accidentally credited for the 1991 beating of Rodney King, the LA riots, became responsible, and the evidence implicating OJ Simpson of the murder.
In short, Chappelle parodies Gump’s classic “candy box” line by saying, “Mom always told me life was like a bowl of chiclets. They keep the worst parts for black people.” He ends up being beaten up by the older black couple sitting next to him.
According to IMDb, the short was directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, a black director who went on to direct other hits like 2000’s Love & Basketball, 2014’s Beyond the Lights, and most recently the historical epic The Woman King. , which was released in late 2022.