According to a witness, an assailant “pounced” on Dave Chappelle, causing the comedian to “blow up” during an event at the Hollywood Bowl.
The 48-year-old was performing as part of the Netflix Is A Joke festival in Los Angeles on Tuesday night when a man stormed onto the stage.
The incident happened as Chappelle was exiting the show and thanking the comedians who had performed before him, including Chris Rock, Leslie Jones and Jon Stewart.
The attack came after Rock was beaten onstage by Will Smith at the Oscars, leading some members of the comedy community to wonder if it’s still safe to perform in public.
Hollywood star Jamie Foxx, a close friend of Chappelle’s, then came on stage to check the comic was in order before reportedly helping to apprehend the attacker.
A video posted to social media appeared to show a man, reported by US media as an attacker, being put into an ambulance with a badly injured arm.
Los Angeles-based journalist Sharon Carpenter, seated in the audience, told the PA news agency: “It looked like someone was going to fall off the side of the stage, lunge at Dave, and all I saw was Dave basically flew in the air.
“He fell backwards on his back with his arms and legs in the air. He was obviously in shock. We were all shocked. And I thought for a moment ‘okay, is this a prank?’ because they had made some jokes about Will Smith.
“Even though Chris Rock was there, Dave cracked a few jokes, it was fair game right? He made a few jokes about the situation.”
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Carpenter said security officers and members of Chappelle’s entourage then rushed onto the stage.
She added, “He was just trying to keep the show going and making jokes about the situation, but he was pissed about it too.
“What was also crazy was that earlier in the night he made a joke about, ‘Oh I heard people get beat up around here.'”
The night continued with a performance by rappers Mos Def and Talib Kweli.
A spokeswoman for the Hollywood Bowl said an investigation into the incident had been launched.
“The incident that occurred at the Hollywood Bowl on May 3, 2022 is an active investigation and we are unable to comment further at this time,” she said in a statement.
British comedian Jimmy Carr was among those attending the show and expressed his relief that no one was seriously injured.
Sharing a selfie with Chappelle, he tweeted: “The Hollywood Bowl show starring the legendary Dave Chappelle was insane. I’m just glad everyone is doing well.”
Before the performance, viewers had to place their phones in cases to prevent them from filming the proceedings.
Chappelle previously faced backlash over comments about transgender people on his Netflix comedy special The Closer.
The comedian said “gender is a fact” and endorsed JK Rowling, who has also been criticized for her comments on the concept of biological sex.
Netflix employees are said to have reacted with anger to his comments and have reportedly organized a strike over the streaming giant’s decision to air the special.
https://www.independent.ie/style/celebrity/celebrity-news/comedian-dave-chappelle-sent-flying-in-the-air-during-on-stage-attack-in-la-41613349.html Comedian Dave Chappelle “blew up” during an onstage attack in LA.