Dave Chappelle Gives Odd Performance, Leaves Stage to Boos


Dave Chappelle


It's hard to believe that it's been over seven years since the world received a new episode of Dave Chappelle's hilarious Comedy Central sketch series 'Chappelle's Show.' When Chappelle suddenly left the series in 2006 (due to various factors such as burn-out, loss of creative control, and a growing feeling of discomfort over the series' increasingly mean-spirited racial humor), it became a big public spectacle. That was fairly understandable, as most people wouldn't walk away from $50,000,000, and Dave's out-of-nowhere trip to Africa made folks wonder if the man was in his right mind.

Since then, Chappelle has mostly flown under the radar. While he's done a few impromptu stand-up performances here and there, and appeared twice on Bravo's 'Inside the Actors Studio,' he has for the most part avoided the public eye. Chappelle finally made his "official" return to stand-up this month, co-headlining the 'Funny or Die Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival.' The first few shows went off seemingly without a hitch, but that all changed this past Thursday night in Hartford, CT.

Dave Chappelle recentAttendees insist that the first few minutes of Chappelle's set were exactly the kind of entertaining material you would expect from the comedian, but a few minutes into the performance, Dave stopped telling jokes and began doing random things like reading passages from a book and smoking cigarettes on stage. Chappelle also reportedly rambled for minutes on end about unrelated subjects, and openly insulted his own audience on several occasions. These insults included: "I like some of you, I hate some of you. I forgive some of you, but I don't forgive all of you." The audience responded with a chorus of boos, eventually leading Chappelle to offer a quiet "thank you' and 'good night' before walking off stage and never returning.

While several accounts from audience members claim Chappelle's actions were unprompted, others took to social media to defend the comic, pointing out the fact that the crowd had been shouting things at Chappelle the entire time he had been on stage. Chappelle has had memorable encounters with hecklers before, including an instance at the height of his show's popularity. The unruly spectators kept shouting out "I'm Rick James Bitch" during the performance, annoying Chappelle to the point where he said: "The show is ruining my life. You know why my show is good? Because the network officials say you're not smart enough to get what I'm doing, and every day I fight for you. I tell them how smart you are. Turns out, I was wrong. You people are stupid."

As a long-time Dave Chappelle fan, I can't really blame him for reacting angrily to hecklers. Buying a ticket does not grant one the right to actively interrupt the performer on stage. That said, spending nearly a half hour talking about nothing, reading a book, smoking, and telling the fans that he'll get paid either way, doesn't make him come off too well either. As of this writing, Chappelle has yet to address the situation publicly.

What do you think? Was Dave right to leave the stage amid heckling, or did he owe the paying audience a performance?


- Dave Chappelle
- Chappelle's Show

Written by: msd85
Aug 31st, 2013, 6:08 pm


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Message Posted On Sep 2nd, 2013, 4:41 pm
I went to a performance of his in Detroit after he came back from hiatus. He was funny for half of it and the second half he railed on Comedy Central and society in general. I laughed for the first half of the show and left kind of bewildered. I believe he said something to the effect that "how would you feel if someone offered you $50 million dollars and then put their dick on top of it?" I completely understand how he feels, he probably couldn't go anywhere without someone saying "I'm rick james bitch" or "I'm rich bitch" or "you n-----s make me sick" or any of the other 20 classic lines from the show. If that is the case, just go back to making comedy movies. Fans that didn't appreciate how he left are going to heckle; it's just that simple. I liked him ever since I saw Robin Hood Men in Tights - "a jew ... here". I still like him and hope that he can get over the glaring spotlight that having the only show better than south park on comedy central gave to him. Right now, he is stuck as a caricature of himself on the show in the minds of most people and can't get away from it.

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Message Posted On Sep 1st, 2013, 10:30 am

Is he channeling Lenny Bruce or Andy Kaufman now or something?


Message Posted On Aug 31st, 2013, 8:44 pm
he should get back together with the cast from "Half Baked" and write another script. none of them are doing much of anything either, and that was a classic. I don't know how any of them do it night after night like that. It's not like they're a musician that goes out and the audience expects them to do their favorites in every city. They face hecklers and flops which can turn an entire act into a nightmare. They can't just switch back and "play one of their hits" to get the crowd on their side again. On top of that, comics are often tortured souls before they make it. Look at Martin Lawrence, Bill Hicks, John Belushi, Chris Farley, and Richard prior, just to name a few - they were all addicts and/or had melt-downs. I think it takes an overwhelming amount of personal sensitivity to engage an audience like one of the greats, and any comic you ever end up hearing of has accomplished something very few can do.