After eight largely Chappelle-free years, you’d think comedy fans would be eager to hear what the guy had to say in his new standup routine. By EW’s own account, spectators in Austin certainly were: When Dave Chappelle first took the stage at Funny or Die’s Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival, those present gave the comic a standing ovation before he even began his set.
Alas, that was Texas — and this is Connecticut. Last night in Hartford, a noisy, unruly crowd prompted Chappelle to pause his set, ultimately walking off stage to a chorus of boos.
“All right, you guys,” Chappelle said shortly before exiting stage left. “I like some of you, I hate some of you. I forgive some of you, but I don’t forgive all of you.” The shouts got louder. “You guys have totally ruined my chances of running for Congress or something,” Chappelle continued. The noise swelled. Then, with a simple “thank you” and “good night,” Chappelle made his way off stage, to the strains of Kanye West’s “New Slaves.” Watch it all in the video below.
Evidently, the heckling had been going on for some time — at one point even prompting this message from the Oddball Fest’s official Twitter account:
And while some social media users immediately complained about Chappelle’s behavior, others who claim to have been present at the show agree that the crowd — and not the notoriously erratic Chappelle — was at fault.
“He’d already asked the crowd before this (several times) to stop yelling and let him do his set, but certain people in the crowd wouldn’t stop yelling,” commenter Nebula Haze wrote below the YouTube video. “The owners of the venue didn’t do anything and let a handful of people ruin the show for everyone. After nearly a half hour, Dave Chappelle said goodnight and walked off the stage (shown in this video). He’s been incredibly funny during his sets in the rest of this tour, so I really feel it was the crowd’s loss in this case.”
Another YouTube commenter chimed in with this: “im from hartford, and i was there, and it was our fault not his. i woulda walked off too…f— hartford.”
When contacted this morning, Chappelle’s rep had no comment on the incident.