Comedians are often very funny and witty, but they’re also human beings and sometimes they get hurt or even die. The most recent example is Dave Chappelle.
He was attacked by a man during his performance at the Hollywood Bowl arena in Los Angeles.
Although he was unharmed, his life has been forever changed because of this random act of violence. This isn’t the first time someone has tried to attack Dave Chappelle, either.
The Los Angeles Police Department said a 23-year-old man armed with a replica handgun that contained a knife blade was arrested and accused of assault with a deadly weapon.
The attacker was later escorted from the venue on a stretcher and appeared to have injuries to his arm and face.
The comedian appeared to lose his composure momentarily, and later joked. That was a trans man, a call back to earlier words in his set that suggested he felt attacked by transgender people, and past material that has been criticized as transphobic.
Police identified the suspect as Isaiah Lee of Los Angeles and said he was being held on $30,000 bail. Chappelle was not injured in the attack.
At one point, Chappelle disappeared from view to locate the attacker. When he returned, he said, I’ve been doing this 35 years.
I just stomped a [n word] backstage always wanted to do that, appearing to refer to his assailant.
In October, Chappelle faced controversy over his 2021 Netflix special The Closer. In the special, Chappelle jokes about trans women and their genitalia and defends J. K. Rowling against critics who say she is transphobic.
The altercation also follows another high profile stage attack, in which actor Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock for a joke Rock told about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, on the Oscars stage in March.
Earlier in his set, which was part of the Netflix Is A Joke festival, Chappelle discussed the slap ‘heard round the world, and said both Smith’s and Rock’s actions resonated with him.
Rock, who had a brief set earlier in the show, came back on stage and joked, Was that Will Smith?
After an investigation, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences banned Smith from all its events, virtually or in person, for 10 years.
Chappelle moved on by introducing the closing set the rap duo known as Black Star, comprised of Yasiin Bey and Talib Kweli, who were joined by DJ Madlib.