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The TV interviewer was performing at the Netflix Is a Joke festival in Los Angeles on Friday (6 May) when he addressed the moment that Chappelle was attacked on stage.
Police later revealed that the man, who was identified as Isiah Lee, was armed with a replica gun “that can eject a knife blade” when discharged correctly.
During Letterman’s set, the TV interviewer suddenly jumped in fright and ran to the side of stage. When he returned, he said: “I’m sorry – thought I saw a guy coming up here. I’m so sorry. It’s just been a little alarming, you know what I mean?”
He then jokily told audience members: “In deference to the people coming out here, let me just say this: when the show is finished, I will be in the lobby, and if anybody wants to come and beat me up, by God, come on out.”
Letterman asked: “How many of you would like to hit me right now?”
While Letterman didn’t specifically name Chappelle, the video was uploaded onto Netflix’s social media channels with the title: “David Letterman on the Dave Chappelle Incident.”
In response to the Chappelle incident, his rep called it “unfortunate and unsettlling” but praised Jamie Foxx and Chris Rock for helping to “calm the crowd with humour” before he continued his set.
Rock made headlines in the aftermath for asking “was that Will Smith?”, in reference to the infamous slap he received by the Best Actor winner at this year’s Oscars ceremony. Onlookers called the Netflix event “the wildest live show” they’d ever seen.
Footage of the attack and Rock’s ensuing comment in response has since surfaced online.