Dave Chappelle is famous for his comedy, but if he’s serious about one thing, it’s being a father.
“Listen man: The first time I traveled with my kid by myself … to this day, it might’ve been one of the scariest things I’ve ever done in my life,” the actor and comedian, 43, says in a conversation with his friend and former Chappelle’s Show costar Donnell Rawlings for an episode of Project Dad, a Chicken Soup for the Soul Original, airing Tuesday.
“I took him all the way to Dubai. Everything they need, you just have to be on it,” Chappelle tells Rawlings, 45, as the latter’s 14-month-old son Austen sleeps soundly on his dad’s chest.
“Austen’s the first time I’ve felt like I’m living for something other than myself,” Rawlings says. “I think I’m at a point now where I have a crystal-clear vision, and I know it’s because of [Austen].”
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Despite the hurdles and scary moments, Chappelle hints that parenting sons Sulayman and Ibrahim, as well as daughter Sanaa, with wife Elaine is the most rewarding — and life-changing — job he’s ever had.
“Right now, you don’t even think about it. See how [Austen’s] head is resting on your chest? See that little smile on his face?” the recent Saturday Night Live host asks Rawlings. “When you talk, he’s soothed by the sounds of your voice.”
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“The days are long, but the years will fly by,” Chappelle adds wisely.
Project Dad, a Chicken Soup for the Soul Original is a new series that follows three celebrity dads — in season 1, Rawlings, soap star Daniel Cosgrove and DJ Skribble — as they play “Mom” for 48 hours, away from their usual roles in the limelight. The show airs Tuesdays at 7 p.m. EST on Discovery Life.