Chappelle ‘felt good’ his friends broke attacker’s arm, but not everyone’s laughing

A man standing on a stage in a black, leather suit
Comedian Dave Chappelle performing “Dave Chappelle: The Closer.”
(Mathieu Bitton / Netflix)

Even if Dave Chappelle was shaken after being attacked by a man onstage at the Hollywood Bowl on Tuesday, he continued to joke about the shocking incident at the show and reportedly at its after-party.

The controversial “The Closer” star, who was not injured during the attack, continued to quip about it after the show at a gathering at the Pendry Hotel in West Hollywood, according to audio obtained and posted online by TMZ.

“I felt good my friends broke his arm. I felt good. How bad does a n— have to be that Jon Stewart would stomp him!” Chappelle cracked. Isaiah Lee, 23, was arrested at the amphitheater and taken away from the venue in an ambulance with his arm disfigured.


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

The former “Daily Show” host Stewart attended the “Dave Chappelle and Friends” show but didn’t appear to be involved in the melee, which unfolded onstage in front of the audience during a performance that was part of the Netflix Is a Joke comedy festival.

While Chappelle, 48, immediately joked with the Bowl attendees that he was “going to kill that m—” who tackled him, he toned it down at the after-party.

Hours after county prosecutors declined to file felony charges, the city attorney announced four misdemeanor counts against the suspect.

May 5, 2022

“Killing that n— would have been stupid,” the Emmy winner said, thanking the “very powerful friends” who did get involved. Actor and comedian Jamie Foxx and rapper Busta Rhymes allegedly had a hand in subduing Lee during the bizarre turn of events.

The sentiment appeared to echo the statement that Chappelle’s spokeswoman released Wednesday: “He refuses to allow [Tuesday’s] incident to overshadow the magic of this historic moment.”

Still, the incident heightened concern over performer safety and event security among fellow comedians and high-profile figures, many of whom were still reeling from actor Will Smith slapping presenter Chris Rock at the Oscars in March. Rock, who performed earlier during Chappelle’s Tuesday gig, returned to the stage immediately after the attack Tuesday and earned a huge laugh when he quipped that the assailant was Smith.

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

While those involved leaned into the levity of the situation, others such as Howard Stern, Howie Mandel and the hosts of ABC’s “The View,” did not.


“This guy jumped on stage and attacked Dave Chappelle,” shock-jock host Stern said on “The Howard Stern Show” Wednesday, calling out hypocrisy in “f— up Hollywood.”

“Listen! You don’t treat Will Smith any different than they did the Chappelle attacker,” he continued, via People. “The audience at the Oscars gave Will Smith a standing ovation after the attack, that’s the truth. It’s on film, it’s not fake news. They didn’t break Will’s hands, they shook ’em. And that’s wrong and they all should be ashamed of themselves.”

Comedian Dave Chappelle ‘refuses to allow last night’s incident to overshadow the magic of this historic moment,’ his spokeswoman told The Times.

May 4, 2022

“Deal or No Deal” host Howie Mandel told E! News’ Daily Pop Wednesday that what happened at the Oscars “opened the floodgates” and he believed the violence could signal “the beginning of the end for comedy.”

“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,” he said. “That hit … no pun intended … that hit very deeply. ... Watching what happened to Dave last night confirmed my fear. I was watching it kind of live on Twitter and I turned to my wife and I said, ‘I don’t want to. I don’t want to go on stage. I’m just really afraid.’”

“The View” co-host Whoopi Goldberg opened a panel discussion about Chappelle and Rock on Wednesday with a broad question about confrontational violence: “What do you think is happening? I mean, it’s happening on airplanes, it’s happening on street corners.”


Panelist Joy Behar cited contributing factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the opioid crisis and “the fact that [Donald] Trump was out there saying things like, ‘Just knock the hell out of them. I promise you I’ll pay for the legal fees,’ when he had a heckler.” She added that Smith slapping Rock at the Oscars “was the pièce de résistance, as it were,” but applauded how the comedians handled Tuesday’s incident by going on with the show.

Although guest panelist Lindsey Granger tried to move the conversation away from politics to security, co-host Sunny Hostin asserted, “I do think Trump unleashed some incivility, at least, in our country.”

Although it’s still unclear why Lee attacked Chappelle, LAPD said that they found that Lee, an aspiring rapper, had recorded a song called “Dave Chappelle.” According to the New York Post, Lee also recorded a song called “Maga My N—” on which he appeared to rap about Trump, saying, “Why is everybody always hatin’ on my president.”