Dave Chappelle Performance Takes a Wild Turn in LA

Comedian attacked onstage while performing at Hollywood Bowl during comedy fest; he's OK
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 4, 2022 6:48 AM CDT
Dave Chappelle Attacked Onstage at Comedy Fest
Dave Chappelle arrives at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington on Oct. 27, 2019.   (Photo by Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP, File)

(Newser) – Dave Chappelle performed Tuesday evening at the "Netflix Is a Joke" comedy fest in Los Angeles, but what happened to him at the end of his set definitely wasn't a planned part of the night's humor. Cops say the 48-year-old comedian, who was performing at the Hollywood Bowl, was rushed by a man with a replica gun as his show was wrapping up, with various video clips showing a person who appears to be Chappelle getting knocked to the ground as multiple people dashed onstage to help him, per NBC Los Angeles. There aren't too many angles available showing what happened, as guests' phones were supposed to be confiscated at the door (one person who shot video claimed it slipped their mind they had a second phone in their bag).

Police, who aren't talking motive yet, say the weapon the alleged attacker had featured a knife blade that can pop out, though it's not clear if he tried to use it on Chappelle during the incident. Chappelle wasn't injured. He can be seen back on his feet just seconds later, joking about what had just happened. "I am going to kill that [unclear]," Chappelle said after picking the mic up off the floor, as seen in the video shown on NBC. Among those reportedly on hand to come to Chappelle's rescue: fellow comedian Jamie Foxx, notes Deadline. "Whenever you're in trouble, Jamie Foxx will show up in a sheriff's hat," Chappelle joked later. "I thought that was part of the show," Foxx replied.

BuzzFeed journalist Brianna Sacks, who was on the scene as a ticket-holder, reported that several security guards "punched and kicked" the alleged attacker, per the New York Times. Sacks posted video on Twitter showing the man being placed into an ambulance. He was taken to a hospital with "superficial injuries," per the LAPD. Sacks added that, right before the attack, Chappelle "had literally just said he now has more security because of all the uproar from his jokes about the Trans community." Deadline notes the incident took place just weeks after Will Smith took to the stage at the Oscars to slap Chris Rock. Newsweek reports on an Instagram post showing Rock, who'd performed Tuesday before Chappelle, come onstage to embrace Chappelle after the incident, joking into the mic, "Was that Will Smith?" (Read more Dave Chappelle stories.)

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