Dave Chappelle Reveals What He Discussed With His Attacker

On Tuesday night (May 3), Dave Chappelle was attacked during his standup act at California’s Hollywood Bowl. Isaiah Lee, a 23-year-old with Rap music ambitions, rushed the stage while carrying a replica pistol with a knife attached.

As captured by cameras, after knocking Chappelle to the ground, Lee was met by defenders, including Jamie Foxx, who allegedly used force to disarm him and detain him until the Los Angeles Police Department could make an arrest. The assailant was taken away in cuffs attached to an ambulance stretcher. He is charged with assault with a deadly weapon.

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Two days later (May 5), Chappelle addressed the incident during a secret show at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles. Diddy, Yasiin Bey, and Kim Kardashian were among the show’s attendants, which drove up ticket sale prices at the famed venue. Chris Rock made a surprise appearance during Dave’s unannounced set, where Dave spoke of what happened. Chappelle said that he could not see Lee’s face during the attack but grabbed his hair. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Dave made light of the attack, by poking for another. “At least you got smacked by someone of repute!” Chappelle joked to Rock, referring to March’s Oscars incident with Will Smith. “I got smacked by a homeless guy with leaves in his hair.”

Dave also reveals that he asked to speak to his attacker moments after the incident. The “I needed to talk to him,” Dave said. The comedian asked Lee what motivated his attack. The 23-year-old, who Chappelle said appeared to be mentally ill, spoke about his grandmother and how she had been displaced from her Brooklyn community due to gentrification. The man hoped that the attack would draw awareness to the issue. Notably, Dave Chappelle has lived and worked in Brooklyn during his 30-plus-year career.

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In a somber moment, Dave referred to the dangers within The City of Angels. “I am in the [city] where you sat in the car with Biggie Smalls as he died,” Chappelle said to Puff Daddy. “I hate this city.” Upon making that remark, the comedian reportedly left the stage, taking his cigarettes. He is referring to the March 1997 drive-by shooting outside of the Petersen Automotive Museum that left Biggie Smalls (born Christopher Wallace) dead. Nobody has ever been convicted of that murder.