During his set, Dave had joked about needing more security due to backlash over his jokes about transgender people.
An armed man attacked Dave Chappelle live on stage during a comedy show in Los Angeles on Tuesday night.
The comic was performing at the Netflix Is A Joke festival at the Hollywood Bowl when a member of the audience jumped up from the pit, charged, and tackled Dave.
The Los Angeles Police Department have confirmed the incident, and told NBC Los Angeles that the male suspect was armed with a replica gun that could eject a knife blade. It is not known whether he attempted to use the weapon when attacking Dave.
The incident occurred after Dave had ended his set, but he’d returned to the stage for an encore to promote his new podcast with Talib Kweli and Mos Def.
BuzzFeed News reporter Brianna Sacks was at the show and said that Dave and his attacker scuffled in front of the stunned crowd before Dave was able to get away.
Security then ran across the stage and cornered the other man, proceeding to kick and punch him while he was on the ground.
Brianna said that the incident sparked “sheer chaos” and that the security team “were beating the attacker up like a free for all.”
“Security et al rushed and started punching and kicking the shit out of Chapelle’s attacker. He was just about to bring on Talib Kweli and Mos Def for the encore and we in the crowd were like what the fuck is going on. Chapelle kept on while the guy was getting beat in the back,” she added on Twitter.
Dave carried on with the show after composing himself, and at one point branded the attacker an “idiot” as he walked over to where he was being beaten up.
He was also supported by Jamie Foxx and Chris Rock, who both joined him on stage after having appeared earlier in the show.
Back in March, Chris was famously slapped by Will Smith live on stage at the Oscars after making a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s bald head.
He referenced this after Dave’s attack, jokingly asking the crowd: “Was that Will Smith?” in reference to the suspect.
Meanwhile, Jamie came onto the stage wearing a sheriff’s hat as he admitted that he originally thought that the whole thing was part of Dave’s set.
In a video of the aftermath shared on Twitter, Jamie can be heard saying: “I thought this was part of the show, I don’t know, what the fuck!”
In the same clip, Dave jokes: “Whenever you’re in trouble, Jamie Foxx will show up in a sheriff’s hat!” and later tells the actor: “I grabbed the back of that n****’s head. His hair was spongey, absorbent.”
Jamie also heaped praise on Dave as he told the audience that he must be protected. He said: “This man is an absolute genius, we gotta make sure that we protect him at all times, man.”
“Every comedian comes out here, this means everything. You’re a genius, you’re a legend, and we’re not gonna let anything happen to you,” he added.
“I’ve been doing this 35 years, I just stomped a n**** backstage, always wanted to do that,” Dave replied.
In fact, earlier in the show Dave had even said that he had extra security onstage due to the backlash over his jokes about transgender people.
Dave also addressed the “new reality” of being a comedian in reference to the Will Smith slap, revealing that his wife is concerned for his safety after a man turned up at their home and chased Dave in his car.
LAPD officers arrived behind the stage to arrest Dave’s attacker, and authorities had cordoned off the area outside of the venue as medics tended to the suspect, who was seemingly strapped to a chair in an ambulance.
Brianna reported that members of the audience “cussed” at the suspect as they passed, with her photos showing the crowd streaming out of the Hollywood Bowl after the eventful night.
Neither Dave, Jamie, or Chris have publicly commented on the incident, but British comedian Jimmy Carr shared a selfie that he’d taken with Dave earlier in the day.
“The Hollywood Bowl show with the legendary Dave Chappelle was crazy. Just happy everyone’s ok,” he wrote as he shared the photo to Twitter.
Dave was billed for four shows during the Netflix Is A Joke festival and Tuesday was his final performance at the event, which runs until May 8.