They managed to turn their attacks on the stage into “punch” lines.
Comedy icons Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock have shown the power of “standing up” in the face of violence after cracking down on wisdom about the times they were attacked on stage this year. Deadline reported that they dropped their assault-based groups during the Liverpool, UK, leg of their current European tour.
“Is this–t hurt?” Rock, 57, who went first, asked the audience regarding his slap on Will Smith at this year’s Academy Awards. “Goddam right . . . Mother—————beat me on a bull joke——the cutest joke I have ever said.”
The Grammy-winning comedian was referring to the now-infamous incident at the 2022 Academy Awards in March, when Smith, who won Best Actor for “King Richard” later that evening, hit Rock for causing a crack Acute about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith who suffers from hair loss. In light of the incident, Rock says he refused to host the 2023 Academy Awards.
Fortunately, the comedy didn’t seem to allow the televised attack to derail his career too badly: During the final set, Rock claimed to be back in action the next day after being slapped. And despite being assaulted, the “Grown Ups” star insisted he’s not a victim, declaring that unfortunately in the United States, people achieve success through shame or distinction or by claiming victim status.
The comedian then handed the microphone to Chappelle, 49, who began grumbling about his attack on stage in Los Angeles in May, calling it “scary.”
As the “Chappelle’s Show” creator joked that Rock raised him that night by strutting on stage and taunting, “Was that Will Smith?” Regarding his attacker, who he said was inspired by an obstacle slap.
Then Chappelle turned his attention to Rock’s attack. “A lot of people forget who Will Smith is,” Merchant said, referring to the “Men In Black” star’s rough and tumble upbringing in West Philadelphia, the Telegraph reported. “Then 10 minutes before he was about to get his biggest prize… he acted like he was back in Philadelphia.”
Chappelle added that Smith’s attack on Rock was a “very strange choice” given the track record of his longtime teammates.
“Will has made an impression of a perfectionist for 30 years, took off his mask and showed us that he’s as ugly as all of us,” the comedian said. “Whatever the consequences . . . I hope he never wears his mask again, and lets his true face breathe.”
“I see myself in both men,” he added.
The show marks several months since Chappelle’s own attack, with Isaiah Lee, 23, treated on stage during a comedy show at the Hollywood Bowl.
Lee, who was armed with a knife that appeared to be a pistol, was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon. Subsequently, his charges were reduced to a misdemeanor battery.
He told The Post in an exclusive prison interview that he “raised” Chappelle’s highly publicized jokes about the LGBTQ community and homelessness while insisting he never wanted to hurt the funny guy.
“I identify as bisexual…and I wanted him to know what he said he was arousing,” he told me from the Twin Towers prison in Los Angeles. “I wanted him to know that next time, he should first consider running his stuff by people who can affect them.”
Lee pleaded not guilty to the attack, and is still being held in the Los Angeles County Twin Towers jail on $1 million bail for this and other cases.