Man Hurls Himself at Dave Chappelle During Netflix Is a Joke Festival Performance

Leila Kozma - Author

May 4 2022, Published 8:51 a.m. ET

Dave Chappelle
Source: Getty Images

Comedian Dave Chappelle was attacked by an unidentified audience member while performing on the sixth day of the Netflix Is a Joke Festival, the annual comedy festival featuring performances by John Mulaney, Chris Rock, Amy Schumer, and more. According to footage circulating on social media, a man threw himself at Dave Chappelle. What happened?

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Dave Chappelle was attacked on stage while performing at the Netflix Is a Joke Fest.

Dave Chappelle appears to have been attacked on stage while performing as part of the Netflix Is a Joke Fest held at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on Tuesday, May 3, 2022.

Featuring more than 130 artists, Netflix Is a Joke Fest celebrates the best comedy acts across the U.S. and beyond. Dave booked the gig even though he garnered considerable criticism for including anti-trans jokes in The Closer, the Netflix special that premiered on Oct. 5, 2021.

Dave Chappelle
Source: Getty Images
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According to most outlets, Dave was attacked by an unidentified man. The attacker seems to have been dealt with by Dave's security. Exact details about the incident are hard to come by at present, as neither Dave nor the festival organizers have issued a statement. Fortunately, however, several members of the press were in attendance on the night, providing first-hand accounts of what may have gone down.

"Dave Chapelle was rushed and attacked on stage by a man at the Hollywood Bowl. Chapelle tussled with the man, who ran behind the screen on stage ad was surrounded by security. Chris Rock, who performed earlier, came on stage with him and joked, 'Was that Will Smith?'" tweeted Stephanie Wash.

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"Chris Rock and Jon Stewart were among the group of comedians performing alongside Dave Chappelle tonight when the incident happened. Jamie Foxx jumped onstage to help and make sure Dave was OK," tweeted Sharon Carpenter.

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"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," a representative of the Hollywood Bowl told the PA news agency, per HuffPost.

Dave wasn't injured during the incident, a representative of the LAPD told CNBC. The LAPD confirmed the attack to NBC Los Angeles, stating the man was carrying a weapon that "ejects a knife blade."

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Dave's immediate reaction to the incident has caused outrage online.

"It was a trans man," Dave joked in the immediate aftermath of the attack.

This comment, of course, has sparked controversy online.

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Jamie Foxx appears to have landed a hand, helping Dave deal with the attack.

"Whenever you’re in trouble, Jamie Foxx will show up in a sheriff’s hat," Dave appears to have joked, per the Hollywood Reporter.

Jamie told the audience, "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, I enjoyed myself thoroughly, and we’re not going to let nothing happen to you."

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