Comedian Dave Chappelle was attacked onstage Tuesday night during a stand-up set at the Hollywood Bowl.
He was performing at the “Netflix is a Joke” festival at the legendary venue when a man rushed the stage and tackled him to the ground. The two men struggled on the floor for a moment until the assailant ran off.
Police arrested a suspect identified as Isaiah Lee, 23. He was carrying a replica gun that held a blade inside it, according to Page Six. He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was where he was treated for superficial wounds and a badly injured arm from the group that descended upon him almost as soon as he laid hands on Chappelle. Lee was then arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and is being held on $30,000 bail.
Comedians Jon Stewart, who also performed, and Jamie Fox were in the crowd, with Fox among those who went onstage to help assist security in handling the attacker.
Chappelle finished his set, recovering with a joke by telling the crowed, “Thank you sir. It was a… it was a trans man,” according to KTLA.
Chris Rock, who performed earlier in the evening, came back onstage with Chappelle after the the comedian got sacked to crack wise, asking, “Was that Will Smith?”
Jim Norton, a Chappelle pal and fellow standup, gave a summation of the situation on his SiriusXM radio show Wednesday morning: “Well, he’s fine, and that guy got tuned-up a little bit, as he should’ve—the fucking jerkoff.” Norton then added, “I hope I don’t get tackled at the Fat Black Pussycat tonight in the Village.”
Co-host Sam Roberts replied, “Save it for your Instagram.”
Comedians have been concerned about their safety onstage ever since Will Smith strode onstage at the Oscars and slapped Chris Rock across the face over a joke he didn’t like. As comedian Kathy Griffin tweeted, “It’s a very bad practice to walk up on stage and physically assault a Comedian [sic]. Now we all have to worry about who wants to be the next Will Smith in comedy clubs and theaters.”
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