Veteran comedian Dave Chappelle has come forward to explain last week reports which suggested he suffered a meltdown during a Connecticut show that ended in him walking out.
During a Chicago stand-up show last night (September 3), the former Comedy Central star came clean on what really went down in Hartford.
“F*ck Hartford,” Dave said to the audience. “I swear to God, f*ck that whole city. Thank-you for being here. Oh my God, it’s off the chain. If I would have known it’d be like this, I’d have dressed up. What’s up you guys? Good to see you all. … I know you guys read the paper, I took a nasty spill the other night. But I swear to God, it wasn’t my fault – I’m not on drugs. … This is so much better than Hartford. I’ll never go back. I won’t even go to Hartford for f*cking gas. I don’t want anything bad to happen to the United States, but if North Korea ever drops a nuclear bomb on this country, I swear to God I hope it lands in Hartford, Connecticut. … It was a room full of torturers — young, white, alcoholics.” (Da Laughing Barrel)
Dave also referenced the now-infamous Laugh Factory 2006 incident when former “Seinfeld” actor Michael Richards went on a racist tantrum during his stand-up show.
“I wanted to pull a reverse Kramer and call them all crackers or something crazy like that,” Chappelle added. “I know that sh*t would be on YouTube. ‘Dave Chappelle calls a room full of white people crackers.’ Couldn’t do that. I felt bad when Kramer did that sh*t to us. I did. I was a f*cking Seinfeld fan to the end. I saw that sh*t and was like, ‘Kramer, you f*cked up. You lost me, baby.’ That was the black in me. The comedian in me was like, ‘Woo, this n*gga’s having a tough set! Hang in there, Kramer! Don’t let ‘em break you!’ That sh*t in Hartford was bad. And you know that crowd’s lucky they got to see me freak out. Sh*t’s like being at a f*cking tiger show the night Sigfried and Roy got their throats bit out by the tiger. It’s f*cked up and I know deep down that’s why you go to the tiger show. You don’t go to the tiger show to see somebody be safe. You guys are thinking in the back of your mind, ‘This motherf*cker might get bit. I’d like to see that for $35.'” (Da Laughing Barrel)
Buzz behind Chappelle’s Hartford experience heated up the Internet last week.
A week into his comeback tour, Dave Chappelle either had a “meltdown,” was “booed off the stage,” or was treated like a black-face minstrel by a crowd of “fucking animals” last Thursday in Hartford, Connecticut. The incident has made for a bloggery buffet of commentary on race, comedy and corporate culture, but what happened really wasn’t all that dissimilar from what drove Chappelle from comedy in the first place back in 2005: heckling from audience members demanding the iconic “I’m Rick James, bitch!” one-liner. (Denver Westword)
Back in late 2010, New York rapper Talib Kweli spoke on his relationship with Chappelle.
“I do shows with Dave and link up with Dave a few times during the year,” Kweli revealed in an interview. “We did a show at a comedy club. Black Star and Dave Chappelle — and it’s great because me and Mos [Def] come out and do 20 minutes, Dave does 20 minutes and then me and Mos come out. Dave is in a position where he does what he wants to do. He lives in Ohio on a farm. He has his Harley [Davidson motorcycle], he books little gigs whenever he feels like getting out and telling some jokes.” (XXL Mag)
Check out Dave Chappelle explain the Hartford incident: