Dave Chappelle was performing at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on Tuesday night when a man ran onto the stage and tackled him. The assailant has been identified as 23-year-old Isaiah Lee. According to NBC News Los Angeles, Lee was armed with a fake gun that ejects a knife blade “when you discharge it correctly.” He was detained by venue security and then taken to the hospital with “superficial injuries.”
On Wednesday, Lee was booked for felony assault with a deadly weapon.
Chappelle was quick to joke about the attack. “It was a trans man,” he said after being tackled. If you’re looking for the punchline, it’s funny because Chappelle is notoriously transphobic.
The show was part of the geniously named Netflix Is a Joke Festival, and serendipitously Chris Rock had performed earlier in the night. He came out after the hubbub and asked, “Was that Will Smith?” The crowd went wild. Comedy is mostly about getting a reference, after all.
To add to the weirdness, Jamie Foxx apparently came out in a cowboy hat and told Chappelle, “For every comedian who comes out here, this means everything. You’re a genius. You’re a legend, I enjoyed myself thoroughly, and we’re not going to let nothing happen to you.”
Not to split hairs, but they did let something happen to him. He got tackled. Not only that, but according to Buzzfeed News reporter Brianna Sacks, Chappelle had told the audience earlier that night that he had beefed up his security because of the response to his comments about trans people.
Who do we think will be the next comic to get their shit wrecked while performing? If I were a betting woman, I’d say it’s probably Louis C.K. But if I were to go with my heart, I’d want it to be Jeff Dunham. No ventriloquist should be that successful.