Comedian Dave Chappelle says he used to buy weed from Idris Elba back in the day. Appearing on Joe Rogan’s podcast, Chappelle delved into topics like the coronavirus pandemic, Elon Musk hosting SNL, cancel culture and gay rights.
During the podcast, Chapelle started talking about the importance of treating people in the service industry with kindness, since no one knows where such people might end up. Using Hollywood star Elba as an example, Chapelle said: “Idris Elba, the famous actor, used to be a security guard at Caroline’s [comedy club] … I used to buy weed from him.”
British actor, musician and DJ Elba, who was born to immigrant working-class parents, was brought up in east London before finding fame in America. He is best known for playing Nelson Mandela in the biographical film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013), drug trafficker Stringer Bell on the HBO series The Wire, and DCI John Luther on the BBC One series Luther.
The TV and film star has never shied away from talking about his drug-dealing past.
In his Saturday Night Live monologue in 2019, Elba talked about his years working as a bouncer at Caroline’s comedy club.
“Now, this was my night job when I started in this country. This time of year, I would be standing outside freezing my bollocks off. I mean, it was a decent job, though. I made some great contacts. By which I mean, I sold weed,” the Luther star said.
“I’m not proud of it, it’s just a fact.”
In a 2013 interview with GQ Magazine, the actor said,”…I was DJ’ing, but I was also pushing bags of weed; I was doing my work. I had to. I know that sounds corny, but this is the truth.”
He said while selling drugs at Carolines, a lot of Black comedians came through, including Chapelle. “All those black comedians, they knew me as a doorman.”
Elba has been nominated four times for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film, winning one and was nominated five times for a Primetime Emmy Award.