They managed to turn their on-stage attacks into “punch”-lines.
Comedy icons Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock demonstrated the power of “standing up” to violence after cracking wise about the respective times they got attacked on stage this year. They dropped their assault-based sets during the Liverpool, UK leg of their current European standup tour, Deadline reported.
“Did that s–t hurt?” Rock, 57, who went first, asked the audience regarding getting slapped by Will Smith at this year’s Oscars. “Goddam right… the motherf—ker hit me over a bulls–t joke, the nicest joke I ever told.”
The Grammy-winning comedian was referring to the now-infamous incident at the 2022 Academy Awards in March, when Smith, who won win Best Actor for “King Richard” later that evening, smacked Rock for making a bald wisecrack about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who suffers from alopecia. In light of the incident, Rock says he declined to host the 2023 Oscars.
Fortunately, it appears that the comic didn’t let the attack derail his career too badly: During the recent set, Rock claimed that he returned to work the day after getting Hitch-slapped. And, despite getting assaulted, the “Grownups” star insisted that he’s no victim, declaring that unfortunately in the US, people achieve success through infamy, excellence or by claiming victim status.
The comic then handed the mic off to Chappelle, 49, who started riffing about his own on-stage assault in Los Angeles in May, calling it some “scary s—t.”
The “Chappelle’s Show” creator also joked that Rock had one-upped him that night by strolling on stage and quipping: “Was that Will Smith?” with regards to his attacker, who ironically said he was inspired by the Hitch-slap.
Chappelle then turned his attention to the Rock attack. “A lot of people forget who Will Smith is,” the mirth 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 the biggest award… he acted like he was back in Philadelphia.”
Chappelle added that Smith’s attack on Rock was a particularly “very strange choice” given his longtime pal’s track record.
“Will did the impression of a perfect person for 30 years, and he ripped his mask off and showed us he was as ugly as the rest of us,” the comic said. “Whatever the consequences are… I hope he doesn’t put his mask back on again, and lets his real face breathe.”
He added, “I see myself in both men.”
The show marks several months since Chappelle’s own attack, in which he was tackled on stage by Isaiah Lee, 23, on the stage during a comedy show at the Hollywood Bowl.
Lee, who was armed with a knife that appeared to be a handgun,” was initially arrested for felony assault with a deadly weapon. He later had his charges downgraded to misdemeanor battery.
He told The Post in an exclusive jailhouse interview that he was “triggered” by the Chappelle’s highly-publicized jokes about the LGBTQ community and homelessness while he insisted he never wanted to harm the funnyman.
“I identify as bisexual…and I wanted him to know what he said was triggering,” Lee said from the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles. “I wanted him to know that next time, he should consider first running his material by people it could affect.”
Lee pleaded not guilty to the attack, and remains locked up at the LA County Twin Towers Jail on $1 million bail total for both cases.