Dave Chappelle Attacked On Stage At Netflix Is A Joke As Man Tackles Comedian


Dave Chappelle Attacked On Stage At Netflix Is A Joke As Man Tackles Comedian

The Netflix Is a Joke festival at the Hollywood Bowl saw Dave Chappelle and fellow comedians take to the stage for a comedic performance.

Chris Rock and John Stewart were said to have joined Dave to perform on stage as the audience watched the comedy festival in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

The festival took place on May 3 at 7pm in Los Angeles, meaning in the UK it was taking place from 3am - but as the performance came to a close fans were shocked as an incident took place.

ABC news journalist Stephanie Wash tweeted updates online as they wrote: "Dave Chappelle was rushed and attacked on stage by a man at the Hollywood Bowl.

Dave Chappelle was attacked during his show (Image: Getty Images for Imagine LA) Read More Related Articles Read More Related Articles

"Chappell tussled with the man, who ran behind the screen on stage and was surrounded by security.

"Chris Rock, who performed earlier, came on stage with him and joked: "Was that Will Smith?" #Netflixisajokefest."

Los Angeles Police Department confirmed to ABC that they responded to an incident at The Hollywood Bowl around 10:45pm, adding that a man who was reportedly armed with a gun and a knife was taken into custody."

Another festival goer wrote: "Dave Chappelle knows how to handle his business. Dude jumped on stage and tackled him but then got jumped by 20 other foos. Wild brawl on stage [sic]."

A third person said: "Seeing Dave Chappelle get attacked by somebody from the audience then seeing the dude get jumped by Dave Chappelle and his crew gotta be the wildest live show I've ever seen.

Fans were live tweeting while at the show (Image: Getty Images for Netflix)

"Chris Rock even came on stage, embraced Dave, grabbed the mic and said: "Will was that you?!"

Footage sees a person run onto the stage and dive into Chappelle in the middle of his performance.

Once the man was removed from stage, Chappelle joked that it was a "trans man", prompting him to come under fire on Twitter as he didn't know the attacker.

Sharing their thoughts online, one person wrote: "That was a bad joke. Dave used to be my favourite comedian til all this."

Dave Chappelle has come under fire in recent months (Image: Getty Images for Netflix)

Another wrote: "Dave Chappelle got attacked tonight at his show and really f*****g said on the mic right after 'it was a trans man'. Wow. Wow. Wow. F*****g wow."

It comes months after Chappelle discussed the death of his friend, a trans comedian named Daphne Dorman, where the punchline was to misgender her.

At the time he said: "As hard as it is to hear a joke like that, I'm telling you right now - Daphne would have loved that joke."

Outrage has surrounded the comedian since he made the joke prompting a constant stream of backlash.

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Cameron Smith: I’m Broken. Send Me.

This is an opinion column.

As I write this column, my father is undergoing major heart surgery. Superman is down, and, for the first time in my life, he seems mortal. There’s a terrifying, sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. Yet, even in this moment, I’m coming up with something smart to write and a way to put a smile on a kid scared his hero might not make it.

In many stage performances, an imaginary invisible barrier called the “fourth wall” separates actors from the audience. While spectators can see through the wall, actors behave as if they cannot. Too many of us spend much of our lives performing for an audience we can’t see.

Writing a column isn’t an exception.

Week after week, I develop perspectives on issues relevant to readers, write them down, and then publish. It’s a stage where I manage the characters, story, and even the conclusions I’m hoping readers adopt. My own fourth wall helps me cope with aspects of life beyond my control.

Some people talk with therapists; I write columns.

Readers don’t see the tears streaming down my face when something reminds me of my younger brother who has been gone for two decades. I frequently forget to mention the ugly aspects of marriage and parenting. Most of my idiotic knee-jerk political reactions magically vanish in the editing process.

Maintaining an ongoing performance is morally hazardous. Authenticity matters so deeply. People need to know they’re not stranded in life. Editorial sterilization is the written equivalent of beach pictures where families smile while wearing spotless white clothes. Sure, some of us care about politics. Others enjoy discussions about faith and family. Each of those conversations are vain and empty without authentic humanity to ground the exchange.

Lately, I’ve felt the heaviness of life in powerful ways.

In addition to my father having serious surgery, my grandfather is suffering from severe dementia. It’s the kind that drives him to eat flowers out of a vase, go for walks completely naked, and try to choke people solely because they’re drinking Dr. Pepper. In the midst of our healthcare challenges, my wife and I are also training to foster a child in our home. I’ve taken on the most significant work projects of my professional life, and parenting three boys is unbelievably weird all the time.

In the midst of the chaos, I felt sorry for myself. Sulking in a local coffee shop, I asked God to give me and my family a break. Within five minutes, I passed a red metal chair with a sign on it. “Do not use me. I am broken,” it read. “I am broken.” It was if God himself gently repeated back to me what I’d requested. Then he reminded me that I’m precisely what I need to be.

So many of us are having a moment where our worlds aren’t okay. We’re truly stressed. It’s finances. It’s family. For some, it’s personal identity. We’re afraid that we’re going to be used, exploited, worn out, and ultimately crushed.

As a columnist, I’m afraid you won’t see what I want you to see. Worse yet, I’m afraid you might see me as I am.

And I too am broken.

That’s a far more powerful declaration than any wisdom I can offer. Nobody gives a damn what I have to say unless they’re first convinced I understand what they’re going through.

My honesty about fear, fatigue, and frustration creates the common ground for connection. It’s the basis for empathy that enables us to overcome our differences. It’s the power to change some of the awful, craven aspects of our current culture. For Christians like me, it’s literally the message of the Gospel. God uses the broken and lowly to confound the strong and powerful.

It’s one thing to know all that; it’s another matter entirely to act on it. When I hear God asking, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” my response too often has been, “I’m broken. Don’t use me.”

The correct response comes from the voice of the prophet Isaiah who replied by saying, “Here am I. Send me!”

“I am broken. Send me.” upends “I’m frantically trying to convince the world that I’ve got it all together.” The invisible audience seeking our perfection doesn’t exist. Life’s beauty is found in broken people who show up anyway. We press on. We endure. As a result, others find profound encouragement to do the same. Sometimes those who have a lighter burden need to carry the load for the downtrodden.

Comic Dave Chappelle tells a story about Daphne Dorman, a trans comic whom he befriended in San Francisco. When Chappelle told Dorman that he didn’t understand her trans identity, Dorman responded: “I don’t need you to understand me. I just need you to believe that I’m having a human experience.” Chappelle replied: “I believe you, because it takes one to know one.” That’s what real empathy looks like.

I see the anxiety and fear on the face of others sitting here in the waiting room with me. I watched a family hear unfavorable news about a loved one, and I’m hoping we’re not next.

Regardless of what happens, I’m going to make my real human experience available to my family, my community, and those who take the time to read my opinions. I hope my words connect with where you are, where you’re going, or where you’ve been. I might be broken, but I’m not alone. Neither are you. That’s enough for me to hope that Superman won’t stay down for long.

Smith is a recovering political attorney with three boys, two dogs, and an extremely patient wife. He engages media, business, and policy through the Triptych Foundation and Triptych Media. Please direct outrage or agreement to csmith@al.Com or @DCameronSmith on Twitter.

Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission.

Comedians' Obsession With Their Haters Is Ruining Comedy

Bill Maher fans, get ready to clap your heart out. The Real Time host, whose new HBO stand-up special #Adulting airs April 15, is a self-identified liberal who likes to complain about political correctness. And he has made a career out of what Seth Meyers dubbed clapter. As described by Tina Fey, way back in 2008, clapter happens “when you do a political joke and people go, ‘Woo-hoo.’” Donald Glover later explained that the clapping means “‘so true, yes, so, so true.’ But what you did isn’t funny; they’re just clapping and laughing to be on the right side of history.”

Clapter comedy threatened to overtake stand-up during the Trump era, as audiences weary of unintentional black humor in the news turned to pop culture’s clear-eyed court jesters just to feel sane. But recently, catalyzed by a fiery debate surrounding free speech, hate speech, and cancel culture, clapter has metastasized into something even more corrosive—something that goes beyond the actual substance of comedy’s much-discussed woke wars. As in all other corners of our polarized society, comedians have defaulted to binary ideas about right vs. Wrong, our side vs. Their side, justice warrior vs. Truth-teller. And that impacts voices on all sides of these issues.

From provocateurs like Dave Chappelle to progressives like Hannah Gadsby, comics on the world’s biggest stages are allowing the faceless “haters” who criticize them on social media to consume their work. As these conflicts escalate, the result is even more attention for these stars. That isn’t just bad for public discourse—it’s bad for a mainstream comedy landscape that too rarely spotlights the many voices doing subtler, gentler, weirder, or more experimental work.

Bill Maher in '#Adulting'

Greg Endries/HBO

In defending their ideas and their work, too many of the most famous stand-ups have become smug, narcissistic, self-righteous, petty. Maher epitomizes this exhausting phenomenon. As excruciating as some of his opinions are (on R. Kelly: “The music didn’t rape anybody”), what’s most unappealing is the manner in which he delivers them—as though he’s the only sane, smart person in the world. The more public pushback he gets, the more sanctimonious he becomes. “We never stand up to the people who wake up offended and live on Twitter,” Maher complains in the special, as though his Real Time monologues weren’t engineered specifically to inflame that crowd and rally his own social-media surrogates. This sort of sentiment is common among comedians of his cohort: rich, famous, middle-aged, liberal men with ride-or-die fandoms who rail against cancel culture as a threat to their free speech, despite the fact that said culture doesn’t even have the power to prevent Louis C.K. From winning a Grammy a few years after he admitted to sexual misconduct.

Maher’s whiteness shields him from a certain strain of unconsciously racist backlash that others might face. But the vagueness of his targets also separates him from someone like Dave Chappelle, the superstar who has become the most prominent face of the free-speech-at-all-costs contingent. There’s plenty to say—most of which has already been said—about the transphobic streak in Chappelle’s comedy. In discussing his style more than his content, I don’t mean to minimize discussions around his attacks on a vulnerable minority that right-wing lawmakers are currently attempting to legislate out of existence. But Maher’s righteousness reminded me of Chappelle, different though he may be.

David Chappelle in 'The Closer'

Mathieu Bitton/Netflix

Chappelle isn’t above pandering to audiences thirsty for provocation, but he’s overall a more complicated thinker. His tone veers between openhearted empathy and viciousness, drawing attention to contradictions in viewers’ own opinions on fraught issues and leaving room for what is often productive ambiguity around what he actually believes. And when he speaks on topics about which he’s “not supposed to” have a take, there is often reason to be glad he did. But in last year’s The Closer, which Chappelle frames as his response to the LGBTQ community, the tactic backfires. An emotional anecdote about his friendship with the late trans comedian Daphne Dorman is undermined by lazy stereotyping and faulty logic that often positions queer or trans identity and Black identity as mutually exclusive. “Gay people are minorities,” Chappelle says, “until they need to be white again.”

What has stuck in Chappelle’s craw, as he admits in the special, is the accusation that he’s “punching down” at trans people. That hurts because—since they’ve labeled him transphobic and since he, too, represents an oppressed community—he feels like the injured party. If he is going to show trans people kindness, then they need to show him kindness first. “Empathy is not gay,” he says. “Empathy is not Black. Empathy is bisexual. It must go both ways.” It’s a surprisingly sweet joke, but one that fails to acknowledge his long history of painting the trans community, with the exception of one trans woman who met Chappelle on his own terms, as monolithic. As far as Dave Chappelle is concerned, it seems, the most important thing about trans people is that they’re angry at Dave Chappelle. From there, it’s a short leap to responding to critical questions from teens at his alma mater with a reminder that, at least for now, “I’m better than all of you.”

Such sanctimony isn’t limited to comedians bent on offending the politically correct. My personal beliefs, for what it’s worth, align more closely with those of Hannah Gadsby, the Australian comic who broke through in the U.S. With a 2018 Netflix special, Nanette, that connects her experiences in comedy with the trauma she’s suffered as a woman and a lesbian. Gadsby’s particular talent as a comedian is synthesis. She can pull together a seamless set, incorporating a wide range of topics and emotional beats, by weaving in callbacks, refrains, and meta-commentary—and she knows this so well that she flaunts it, outlining at the beginning of both Nanette and 2020’s follow-up Douglas what she’s going to do and how she’s going to do it, like Babe Ruth calling his shot. It’s a neat trick, but one that can slide into the territory of condescension when Gadsby starts explaining to her audience how she expects them to react to her material, as though she’s a powerful enough manipulator to override any conceivable viewer’s capacity for free thought.

Hannah Gadsby in 'Douglas'

Ali Goldstein/ NETFLIX

Her critics latched on to this tone as well as the special’s dark content, protesting that Nanette shouldn’t be classified as comedy. Douglas takes up the latter accusation in earnest. Of course not everything in Nanette was supposed to be funny, Gadsby tells the crowd: “I turned the laugh tap off myself. It was a decision. I stand by it. It’s not like I got halfway through the show and though: ‘F-ck, I’m out of jokes, I’ll tell a sad story.’” Elsewhere, she launches into a self-consciously shrill rant about men—just, she says, to bait her haters. The problem with this stuff isn’t that it’s not funny (although it isn’t) so much as that it isn’t insightful or challenging in the way that her other material can be. It’s self-absorbed. It protests too much.

I don’t think comedy specials that address serious themes, in tones that are also sometimes serious, are the problem. Stand-up is a relatively young art form, and there are only so many ways to stand in front of a microphone and deliver punchlines. More fluidity between the worlds of stand-up, spoken word, storytelling, theater, and music should only be daunting to genre purists—who, frankly, need to lighten up. The rest of us get to spend time with work that defies expectations, from Nanette to Chappelle’s blistering response to the murder of George Floyd, 8:46, to Bo Burnham’s Inside. Earlier this month, HBO unveiled Jerrod Carmichael’s Rothaniel, a deeply personal special directed by Burnham that plays like a conversation and a confession, studded with very funny jokes, about the contradictions of being a gay, Black man coming out in his mid-30s.

Jerrod Carmichael in 'Rothaniel'


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I don’t believe, either, that the woke wars are at the core of comedy’s current crisis. What I see is an elite tier of highly paid, internationally known comics who can’t seem to accept the fact that the privilege of performing for an audience of millions—and being treated as not just an entertainer, but a thought leader—carries with it the burden of subjecting yourself to public scrutiny. Self-deprecation has gone out of style in stand-up. (For Gadsby, the choice, which she describes in Nanette, was a conscious one.) Now, there’s precious little space left for introspection or humility or self-doubt. Meanwhile, the epidemic of controversy-courting smugness has been exacerbated by a content-hungry streaming industry that incentivizes comedians to insert themselves into the news cycle. When one of their names trends on Twitter, that’s free advertising for the comic and the platform that releases their specials. No wonder Netflix doubled down on its support for Chappelle.

This is all a shame, because vulnerability goes a long way toward defusing the anger directed at people who tell jokes. Why has Larry David—a 74-year-old straight, white guy who never met a piety he didn’t want to puncture—thrived for long enough to charm millennials and Gen Z? Because his jokes about other people rarely overshadow his jokes at his own expense.

There’s a difference between using your platform to wring laughter out of the human folly in which we all participate every day and using it to fight petty battles against the haters. Comics who position themselves as infallible are always going to catch hell for ripping into others. “Who are these perfect people that we have in America now?” Maher demands in #Adulting, during a riff on the supposed cancellation of Aziz Ansari. “So many perfect people who never make a mistake, never do anything wrong, yet get to judge your date.” Comedian, heal thyself.

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