Comedy and chaos collided at the Hollywood Bowl Tuesday as comedian Dave Chappelle was tackled by a man who had rushed up to the stage from the audience.
The Los Angeles Police Department said the man carried a weapon that can eject a knife blade “when you discharge it correctly,” according to KNBC-TV. It was unclear if the man tried to use it on Chappelle.
The man was quickly overpowered by security and turned over to the police.
Although the man appeared to be injured and was taken away on a stretcher, Chappelle was unhurt.
The comedy continued without missing a beat, some attendees said.
ABC News reporter Stephanie Walsh, who was in the audience. according to The Hollywood Reporter, wrote in a Twitter post that comedian Chris Rock, who had appeared earlier in the show, came back on stage and said, “Was that Will Smith?”
Dave Chapelle was rushed & attacked on stage by a man at the Hollywood Bowl. Chapelle tussled w/ the man, who ran behind the screen on stage & was surrounded by security. Chris Rock, who performed earlier, came on stage w/ him & joked: “Was that Will Smith?” #netflixisajokefest
— Stephanie Wash (@WashNews) May 4, 2022
Smith had slapped Rock during the Oscar ceremony, leading some to fear that attacks on comedians might become a trend.
Although the motive for the attack was unclear, Chappelle was heard to say “it was a trans man,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. Chappelle has been the target of protests over jokes that LGBT activists have claimed are transphobic.
According to KNBC, the man was identified as 23-year-old Isaiah Lee. He is facing a charge of assault with a deadly weapon and is being held on $30,000 bail, the station reported.
Although limited video of the “Netflix is a Joke” event occurred because phones were supposed to be confiscated at the door, a few bits of video exist.
The idiot getting beaten down after attacking Dave Chappelle at Hollywood Bowl pic.twitter.com/Ft0FIUyjWv
— Jed Simon (@JEDSIMON) May 4, 2022
Chaos and hilarity at comedy festival in Hollywood last night. Man attacks Dave Chappelle on stage and the attacker almost gets killed by security 😂 Dave says he was attacked by a “trans man,” Chris Rock asks if it was Will Smith 😂😂 #davechappelle #chrisrock pic.twitter.com/AnX1X8A0U7
— DCSuperSid (@DCSuperSid) May 4, 2022
— DoZay (@DoZay1) May 4, 2022
After the incident, Chappelle was making jokes about it.
— E5QUIRE (@e5quire) May 4, 2022
Chappelle thanked actor and comedian Jamie Foxx who apparently had been among those who rushed on stage, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“Whenever you’re in trouble, Jamie Foxx will show up in a sheriff’s hat,” Chappelle said, joking about he had “always wanted” to stomp someone.
“Listen, I just want to say, this man is an absolute genius. We’ve got to make sure we protect him at all times,” Foxx said.
“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,” Foxx said.
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