After attack on Dave Chappelle, comics worry that it’s ‘gettin’ dangerous out here’

Dave Chappelle smiles onstage
Dave Chappelle in his Netflix comedy special “The Closer.”
(Mathieu Bitton / Netflix)

Comedians have begun to weigh in on Tuesday night’s incident at the Hollywood Bowl, where a man carrying a replica handgun with a knife rushed the stage and attacked headliner Dave Chappelle as the show was winding down.

A 23-year-old named Isaiah Lee was booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon after he allegedly tackled Chappelle during the entertainer’s set at the Netflix Is a Joke comedy festival. Chappelle was not injured and promptly resumed his performance after the assault occurred. Lee’s motivation was not immediately clear.

“Gettin’ dangerous out here,” comedian George Wallace tweeted along with a photo of his face edited onto an image of the pope riding in his Popemobile. “Got no time for the rope-a-dope, Wallace is gonna ride like the Pope. I’m rollin’ The Jokemobile on stage from now on and whatnot.”

Footage from TMZ showed Chappelle’s attacker getting wheeled into an ambulance on a stretcher after the performer’s security team chased him down. According to an eyewitness who spoke with the outlet, the man was allegedly beaten by Chappelle’s crew, as well as rapper Busta Rhymes and actor Jamie Foxx, who came to the comedian’s aid.

A number of cameras captured the moment Dave Chappelle was tackled Tuesday night at the Hollywood Bowl. Here is a reconstructed timeline of events.

May 4, 2022


Representatives for Chappelle, Rhymes and Foxx did not immediately respond Wednesday to requests for comment.

“Some dude tackled Dave Chappelle on stage and that dude got stomped out forthwith,” comedian Tony Baker tweeted. “They took his arm off and put it back on backwards. That’s what he get. This attacking people on stage aint gon fly.”

In a Twitter thread, ABC News journalist Stephanie Wash reported that comedian Chris Rock — who had performed earlier in the evening — returned to the stage after the violent encounter and joked, “Was that Will Smith?”

Of course, Rock was alluding to the 94th Academy Awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre, where Smith smacked him onstage in front of hundreds of his entertainment peers and millions of viewers. Representatives for Rock did not immediately respond Wednesday to a request for comment.

A comic seated up front says he warned security after seeing the suspect jump a barricade. ‘It could have been prevented,’ Tehran Von Ghasri said.

May 4, 2022

“We can all thank Will Smith for setting the example that led to Dave Chappelle getting assaulted on stage last night,” comic Tim Young opined.


“I’m begging comedians to not do another round of ‘what if someone attacks me during a show in the basement of a Brooklyn pizza shop like they did my peers, Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle,’” tweeted comedian Gianmarco Soresi.