Madison Square Garden was in for a treat on Saturday (July 22) when comedian Dave Chappelle surprised comedy lovers during the New York City stop of Chris Rock and Kevin Hart’s Only Headliners Allowed Tour. Chappelle was greeted with heavy applause from the crowd as he made his entrance to “Karma Police” by Radiohead.
According to reports, Chappelle joked during his opening set that he had to sneak his way in. Attendees also shared that the controversial comedian went on to speak about his latest show cancelation, among other trending topics. Earlier this month, Minneapolis venue, First Avenue announced that it would be canceling Chappelle’s scheduled show. The venue faced backlash after booking the 48-year-old comedian despite being scrutinized for his comments about the LGBTQ+ community.
In a tweet, First Avenue wrote, “We hear you. Tonight’s show has been cancelled at First Avenue and is moving to the Varsity Theater. See our full statement for more,” followed by a statement apologizing for the negative impact they did not intend it to have on their supporters.
Chappelle supposedly told the NYC crowd, “Despite what you may have read about in the news, I’m OK, and I appreciate the support.”
Chappelle also spoke about getting tackled at the Hollywood Bowl during his performance at the Netflix Is A Joke Festival back in May. Jokingly (and probably with a bit of seriousness), he said he hopes his attacker contracts monkeypox. Chappelle added, “Not that he should die, but his a** should itch for four to six weeks.”
Following Chappelle’s 20-minute opener, Kevin Hart and Chris Rock performed their respective comedy sets. At the end, Hart brought a real-life goat on stage and referenced Chris Rock as the “Greatest Of All Time (G.O.A.T).
Reflecting on a successful comedy night, Hart wrote on his Instagram, “Last night was by far the best moment of my career…I can’t even explain it…I can’t find the words…Just know that last night was the true definition of a “EPIC NIGHT”…I love my brothers more than words can explain. We made history last night!!!”
Chappelle’s latest Netflix special is What’s In A Name?, which features the speech he delivered at his alma mater, the Duke Ellington School of Arts.