Just two days after Dave Chappelle was attacked during the Netflix Is a Joke festival on May 3 and the stand-up comic is already joking about it.
During a secret show at Los Angeles’ Comedy Store, Chappelle shared new details about the audience member who rushed the stage at the Hollywood Bowl to tackle him. The alleged attacker, Isaiah Lee, was arrested and later charged with four misdemeanors including battery, possession of a weapon with intent to assault, unauthorized access to the stage area during a performance, and commission of an act that delays the event or interferes with the performer, according to NBC News.
Chappelle, via The Hollywood Reporter, revealed that he spoke with Lee while he was detained by the Los Angeles police. Lee allegedly told Chappelle that he intended to draw attention to gentrification after his grandmother was forced out of her Brooklyn neighborhood. Chappelle noted that Lee appeared to be mentally ill.
Chappelle additionally told the Comedy Store crowd that pals like Louis C.K. reached out after the attack. Longtime friend Chris Rock also joined Chappelle on stage at the Comedy Store.
“At least you got smacked by someone of repute!” Chappelle joked to Rock, citing him being slapped by Best Actor winner Will Smith at the 2022 Oscars. “I got smacked by a homeless guy with leaves in his hair.”
Rock responded, “I got smacked by the softest n—- that ever rapped.”
Rock had previously gone onstage on May 3 at the Hollywood Bowl to quip “Was that Will Smith?,” moments after Chappelle’s attack at the Netflix Is a Joke festival.
Chappelle’s rep provided a statement following the attack: “The performances by Chappelle at the Hollywood Bowl were epic and record-breaking and he refuses to allow last night’s incident to overshadow the magic of this historic moment,” the rep said. “Dave Chappelle celebrated four nights of comedy and music, setting record-breaking sales for a comedian at the Hollywood Bowl. This run ties Chappelle with Monty Python for the most headlined shows by any comedian at the Hollywood Bowl, reaching 70k fans of diverse backgrounds during the first Netflix Is A Joke: The Festival, and he refuses to allow last night’s incident to overshadow the magic of this historic moment.”
Netflix added, “We care deeply about the safety of creators and we strongly defend the right of stand-up comedians to perform on stage without fear of violence.”
Howard Stern and Howie Mandel have also weighed in on the Rock and Chappelle attacks, with Mandel saying the violence against stand-up comics marks the “beginning of the end for comedy.”
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