“The performances by Chappelle at the Hollywood Bowl were epic and record-breaking and he refuses to allow [Tuesday’s] incident to overshadow the magic of this historic moment,” his rep told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement. “Dave Chappelle celebrated four nights of comedy and music, setting record-breaking sales for a comedian at the Hollywood Bowl. This run ties Chappelle with Monty Python for the most headlined shows by any comedian at the Hollywood Bowl, reaching 70,000 fans of diverse backgrounds during the first Netflix Is A Joke: The Festival.”
Chappelle’s rep added, “As unfortunate and unsettling as the incident was, Chappelle went on with the show,” and praised Jamie Foxx and Chris Rock for helping to “calm the crowd with humor.”
The comedian was attacked during his Dave Chappelle & Friends set. An LAPD spokesperson confirmed to Yahoo Entertainment that the suspect Isaiah Lee, 23, was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon at 10:50 pm PT on May 3. Lee was armed with a replica gun that can eject a knife blade when discharged.
Luckily, that didn’t come to pass. After Lee ran onstage and tackled Chappelle, she ran behind a screen until security apprehended him. He was taken to the hospital with apparent injuriesand is now in LA County Jail with bail set at $30,000.
While Lee was booked on a felony charge, a Los Angeles District Attorney spokesperson said Thursday that the case is now being referred to the LA City Attorney for misdemeanor consideration.
“After reviewing the evidence, prosecutors determined that while criminal conduct occurred, the evidence as presented did not constitute felony conduct,” a spokesperson said.
Chappelle quickly recovered by making jokes about his attacker. Rock, who performed earlier in the night, later came out and quipped, “Was that Will Smith ?,” referring to his infamous Oscars assault on him. Chappelle and Foxx also banned about what went down.
Lee, an aspiring rapper whose verified NoName_Trapper Spotify account has 5,700 listeners, previously released a 2020 song titled “Dave Chappell” (sic). In the song, he seemingly references the famed LA venue where the attack took place, saying, “Walkin’ straight into da Bowl.”
Netflix said in a statement, “We care deeply about the safety of creators and we strongly defend the right of stand-up comedians to perform on stage without fear of violence,” and a rep for the Hollywood Bowl said there is an investigation into the incident. However, it’s yet another incident, following the Oscars drama, that has comedians on edge.
Howie Mandel told AND! News’s Daily Pop“Not to comment on what happened at the Academy Awards, but I thought that it opened the flood gates. We’re already as comedians being attacked as far as being canceled for something that you don’t like, something that you find offensive, something that you think is too soon.”
Mandel, who has been in the business for 45 years, said what happened at the Oscars “just triggers. Violence triggers violence. And I think this is the beginning of the end for comedy. I really believe that.”
Here are some other reactions from performers, including Madonna, who was at the show and called the attack “disturbing”: