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Dave Chappelle attacked on stage during Netflix Is a Joke Fest

·Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
·2-min read
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Dave Chappelle was attacked on stage at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

The comedian was performing, as part of the Netflix Is a Joke Fest, when the apparent attacker rushed at him toward the end of the set and tackled him to the floor, footage showed.

The man ran away behind a screen on stage and then security surrounded and tackled him.

An LAPD spokesperson confirmed to Yahoo Entertainment that a man — who was armed with a replica gun "that can eject a knife blade" when discharged correctly — was taken into custody. Footage showed the alleged attacker on a gurney being put into an ambulance. The police spokesperson identified the suspect as 23-year-old Isaiah Lee, who faces a felony assault with a deadly weapon charge. Bail has been set at $30,000.

Chappelle was not injured in the incident, according to police, and continued on with his set, making jokes about the incident.

"It was a trans man," he said, a reference to the controversy around comments he made in his 2021 Netflix special, The Closer, about the LGBTQ community.

He also urged, "Everybody compose themselves. I want this to be a peaceful moment."

CLEVELAND, OHIO - OCTOBER 30: Dave Chappelle speaks onstage during the 36th Annual Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on October 30, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame )
Dave Chappelle speaks onstage during the 36th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Oct. 30, 2021 in Cleveland. (Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame )

Chris Rock, who performed earlier in the night, joined Chappelle on stage and joked, "Was that Will Smith?" Rock, of course, was hit by Smith at the Oscars in March after Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith.

At curtain call, Chappelle and Jamie Foxx bantered about what happened. Foxx said he "thought that was part of the show," he said. Chappelle then said he "grabbed the back of" the man's head, describing his hair as "spongy" and "absorbent." He joked, "I’ve been doing this for 35 years. I just stomped a n***** backstage. I've always wanted to do that."

A spokesperson for the Hollywood Bowl told PA Media that there's an investigation into the attack.

"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," the rep said in a statement.

Netflix Is a Joke Fest is an 11-day stand-up comedy festival. In addition to the Dave Chappelle & Friends set, performers include Seth Rogen, Chelsea Handler and Conan O’Brien at 25 different L.A. venues.

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