Dave Chappelle photobombs engagement shoot after learning the groom-to-be is in the Air Force

Maggie Parker
Dave Chappelle photobombed an engagement shoot in Ohio. (Photo: Jaycee Marie Photography)
Dave Chappelle photobombed an engagement shoot in Ohio. (Photo: Jaycee Marie Photography)

Dave Chappelle might photobomb your engagement pics if you’re polite and serve the country. Just ask Thomas Saunders and Emily Eldridge, the lucky couple who snagged a few shots with the comedian during their recent engagement shoot.

Saunders and Eldridge got engaged over the summer and were shooting their engagement photos on Nov. 10 in Ohio. They started at a nature preserve close by, but wanting a change of scenery, Eldridge suggested the Yellow Springs Brewery in Yellow Springs, Ohio.

While the couple were ordering, the photographer, Jaycee Brammer, saw a familiar face. “My husband, Nick, said, ‘Dave Chappelle just walked in,’” Brammer told Yahoo Lifestyle. “I think we were all a little starstruck and shocked. We knew he was from the area but never expected to see him.” The comedian lives on a farm in the town. “I kept my cool as we walked past him to go outside to the patio, even though I really wanted to fangirl it up!” the photographer admitted.

Saunders felt the same way. “Emily and I have always been fans of Dave Chappelle. I grew up quoting his show,” Saunders, a technical sergeant in the U.S. Air Force, told Yahoo Lifestyle.

Newly engaged couple Thomas Saunders and Emily Eldridge, with a special appearance by Dave Chappelle. (Photo: Jaycee Marie Photography)
Newly engaged couple Thomas Saunders and Emily Eldridge, with a special appearance by Dave Chappelle. (Photo: Jaycee Marie Photography)

“We set up outside and started snapping photos when Dave walked out,” Brammer recalled. “He stood about 20 feet from us, and we just kind of looked at each other like, ‘Wait, is this really happening?’ I looked at Tommy and I basically said, ‘We should just ask politely. We have to at least try, right?’” So they did. Saunders approached the comedian and asked if he would take some pictures with him, but he “politely declined.”

“I really wasn’t surprised because I had heard he wasn’t much for photos,” Brammer said. “We all totally understood, and Dave chatted with Tommy for a few minutes.” Brammer described Chappelle as kind and “surprisingly normal.”

Saunders continued talking to Chappelle for a few minutes. “We talked for a bit about Chappelle’s Show and where I’ve been stationed.”

Saunders has been in the Air Force since 2010. “I followed in my dad’s footsteps; he’s a 26-year Air Force veteran; he retired in 2005.” He and Chappelle talked about travel. “I am a military brat, so we talked about visiting Germany — where I graduated from high school). We also talked about South Korea, where I was stationed at Osan Air Base from June 2016 to June 2017.” Saunders has been stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio since 2011.

Chappelle was snapped sneaking up on the couple. (Photo: Jaycee Marie Photography)
Chappelle was snapped sneaking up on the couple. (Photo: Jaycee Marie Photography)

Sometime during that conversation, Chappelle had a change of heart. “We went back to taking pictures, and not long after he came around and said, ‘I’m gonna photobomb you guys.’ Emily and I couldn’t hold it together, and we were incredibly grateful for him making an exception for us,” Saunders gushed.

“He laughed after photobombing us and stepped back so we could finish,” Brammer recalled. “After that we were all pretty much shocked and couldn’t believe what just happened. We reviewed the photos, and I walked over to show Dave. He laughed and said, ‘We’re gonna go viral, man.’”

Chappelle was right. Brammer shared the photos on Facebook, and the post has over 3K reactions. Countless news outlets, local and international, have picked up the story.

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