According to Variety, that line was crossed Tuesday night during his show at the Hollywood Bowl. As Chappelle was on stage performing as part of the Netflix Is a Joke comedy festival, a man rushed the stage and tackled him. The stranger then tried to run away, but was caught by security and reportedly Jamie Foxx.
There isn’t much decent video of the incident, as Chappelle famously has a no phones policy at his shows (guests are required to put their phones in Yondr devices to make them hard to get to). Of course, that never stops the internet, so there are a few clips from the “cheap seats” of the attack. (Note: there’s actually no such thing as cheap seats at the Hollywood Bowl.)
Afterward, Chappelle got up and went right back into his routine, joking, “It was a trans man.” Was that necessary Dave? Haven’t you done enough already? And because life won’t let us leave “the slap” behind, after Chris Rock performed earlier in the show, he came back on stage to ask, “Was that Will Smith?”
So my first question, which was probably also Dave’s first question, is where the hell was Hollywood Bowl security? By all accounts, this was a major show with a lot of big-name comedians on the bill. You’d think that would warrant a larger security presence from one of the most famous venues in the country? How is Jamie Foxx the first person running to take the guy down?
If you’ve never been to the Hollywood Bowl, allow me to explain the way the stage and front row box seating are situated because it’s not a place where you can easily rush the stage. There are only two staircases on each side of the stage, and security is usually posted at both. For this guy to jump on stage and tackle Chappelle, he had to run down the aisle and hop on stage in seconds, without security noticing. They really should’ve been able to spot someone trying to get to Dave.
A spokesperson for the venue told PA Media: “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.” I suppose you wouldn’t want to comment since NBC Los Angeles reports that the alleged attacker was carrying a replica gun that can eject a knife blade. Unless your statement says, “We F’ed up,” there’s not much you can say.
Several audience accounts and some footage show the alleged attacker getting beat the hell up by Chappelle’s team. That same person was later shown being taken away from the venue on a gurney with his “elbow bent at an odd angle.” LAPD confirmed that the suspect was taken to the hospital with “superficial injuries.” So what exactly did Hollywood Bowl security do last night, because it certainly wasn’t their job!?
During the curtain call, Dave gave Jamie a shout-out, saying, “Whenever you’re in trouble, Jamie Foxx will show up in a sheriff’s hat. ” To which Foxx responded, “I thought that was part of the show.”
He continued, “Listen, I just want to say this man is an absolute genius. We’ve got to make sure we protect him at all times … For every comedian who comes out here, this means everything. You’re a genius. You’re a legend, and we’re not going to let nothing happen to you.”
Oddly enough, Chappelle has been one of the few comedians who didn’t have a hot take on the whole Will Smith/Chris Rock Oscars slap. I guess he has his own story to tell now.