After recently being attacked on stage by a man at the Hollywood Bowl, American comedian Dave Chappelle has addressed the incident at a secret comedy show in Los Angeles. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the comedian was performing at the Comedy Store in the club’s 70-seat Belly Room and though it was a last-minute addition, rumours about the appearance had been circulating the night before the show.
Amongst the intimate crowd was a host of celebrities, including Kim Kardashian, Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, rapper Yasiin Bey and comedian Jeff Ross, who was part of the line-up for Chappelle’s Tuesday night Hollywood Bowl show. Dressed in a baggy tank top and smoking cigarettes, Chappelle took the stage and immediately went into the topic of the Tuesday-night attack at the Hollywood Bowl, saying he couldn’t see the man’s face but that he got a grip of his hair.
Chappelle described being embraced immediately after the incident by his son, who told him, “Dad, I love you.” He said it was the strange sight of Jamie Foxx wearing, for some reason, “a sheriff’s hat” that calmed him down.
Hours after the attack, Chappelle’s representative said that despite the “unfortunate” and “unsettling” nature of what happened, he wouldn’t let it “overshadow the magic of” his Hollywood Bowl sets. Chappelle gave a shout out to many people who reached out after the incident. “A lot of people love me, it turns out,” he said of a group that included Louis C.K, reported The Hollywood Reporter.
It was at that point that Chris Rock, who himself faced a slapping incident during the 2022 Oscars, joined Chappelle onstage, drawing a huge cheer from the crowd. “At least you got smacked by someone of repute! I got smacked by a homeless guy with leaves in his hair,” Chappelle joked to Rock, who laughed and responded, “I got smacked by the softest n— that ever rapped.”
Later, Chappelle described convincing the Los Angeles police to allow him to enter the room where his alleged assailant, 23-year-old Isaiah Lee, was being held. “I needed to talk to him,” Chappelle said. He asked Lee what possibly could have prompted his attack, to which Lee, who Chappelle said appeared to him to be mentally ill, offered a story about his grandmother from Brooklyn, who had been forced out of her neighbourhood by gentrification. The attack was meant to draw attention to her plight, Chappelle recounted.
As per The Hollywood Reporter, eventually, the topics moved beyond the twin attacks to other things in the news like the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard libel trial and the looming threat to Roe v. Wade.