Comedian Dave Chappelle was attacked Tuesday night as he stood onstage during a performance at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.
A host of clips shared on social media show him being floored by an onlooker who rushed the stage set and took him down in a flying tackle.
Further videos appeared to show the comic apparently unharmed after returning to the stage at the Netflix Is A Joke Festival as security personnel surrounded and took down the alleged attacker in the rear corner of the stage.
Dave Chappelle just got attacked on stage
— Hoodville (@Hoodville_) May 4, 2022
After returning to the stage on Tuesday, the 48-year-old joked: “It was a trans man.”
Meanwhile his assailant was apprehended and removed from the site with injuries.
Los Angeles Police Department officials told NBC Los Angeles the suspect was armed “with a replica gun that could eject a knife blade when discharged correctly.”
Man That Attacked Dave Chappelle At His Show At Hollywood Bowl Has Hands Broken and Dislocated pic.twitter.com/ZvPgjdV5gz
— raphousetv (@raphousetv2) May 4, 2022
According to ABC journalist Stephanie Wash, fellow comic Chris Rock – who was slapped on stage by Will Smith at the Oscars in March – then came on stage with Chappelle.
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
U.S.-based British journalist Sharon Carpenter said actor and singer Jamie Foxx also joined Chappelle.
Chris Rock and John 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
— Sharon Carpenter (@sharoncarpenter) May 4, 2022
In another video, Chappelle could be seen thanking his famous friends for helping out, saying: “Whenever you’re in trouble, Jamie Foxx will show up in a sheriff’s hat.”
“I thought that was part of the show,” Foxx responded.
Later the comedian sounded a note of both shock and levity saying, “I’ve been doing this for 35 years. I just stomped a N***** backstage. I’ve always wanted to do that.”
Dave Chappelle after A Town stomping whoever attacked him pic.twitter.com/qr1z0xBoJ8
— DDOT. (@DDotOmen) May 4, 2022
Foxx gave a more serious assessment:
“Listen, I just want to say…this man is an absolute genius. We’ve got to make sure we protect him at all times,” said Foxx. “For every comedian who comes out here, this means everything. You’re a genius. You’re a legend, and we’re not going to let nothing happen to you.”
A spokeswoman for the Hollywood Bowl said an investigation has been launched, with the BBC reporting they said: “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.”
In October, about 100 people protested outside Netflix’s headquarters over the airing of a comedy special by Chappelle, which they said was transphobic.
Chappelle returned fire at those he said wanted to “cancel” him. “To the transgender community, I am more than willing to give you an audience,” he said. “But you will not summon me. I am not bending to anybody’s demands.”