May 23, 2022

Dave Chappelle attacked on stage fulfilling fears that Will Smith’s attack will inspire copycats

Cancel culture has hit comedians the hardest because they attack society’s sacred cows. Could this be the impetus for the latest attacks on these popular funnymen?

Dave Chappelle was attacked Tuesday while performing onstage at the Hollywood Bowl, the Conservative Brief reported. “Was that Will Smith?” comedian Chris Rock quipped afterward, harkening back to his onstage attack at the hands of the “Men in Black” actor. 

A man later identified as 23-year-old Isaiah Lee had rushed the stage as Chappelle was performing his set for the Netflix Is a Joke comedy festival. Lee reportedly pointed a fake handgun with a knife attached to it at Chappelle and threw the comedian to the floor.

The venue’s security subdued the man, and Lee was taken out of the building on a stretcher. The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed Lee was charged with assault with a deadly weapon though no motive has been released.

After the scuffle ended, Rock, who was also performing for the festival that night, grabbed the microphone to deliver his killer line. The “Everybody Hates Chris” sitcom star had similarly been attacked on stage by Smith, who was outraged over a joke about his wife’s baldness that is a result of a medical condition.

For his part, Chappelle joked that his attacker “was a trans man.” The 48-year-old comedian had previously suffered the wrath of the woke mob for jokes he’d made about transgender people during another comedy special.

“Dave Chappelle celebrated four nights of comedy and music during the festival, tying with Monty Python for the most headlined shows by any comedian at the Hollywood Bowl,” Chappelle spokeswoman Carla Sims told NPR in the aftermath. “He refuses to allow last night’s incident to overshadow the magic of this historic moment.”

It used to be that comedians faced a heckler or two. Now there’s a troubling trend where comedians have to dodge slaps and weapons onstage — what will this mean for the future of performances?

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