Friday, August 30th, 2013

Dave Chappelle Was Heckled and Walked Offstage Last Night in Hartford, CT

Dave Chappelle is only a week into a 13-city tour called The Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival that he's co-headlining with Flight of the Conchords for Funny or Die, but he's already running into trouble. Last night during a stop in Hartford, Connecticut, Chappelle reportedly stopped his act after 10 minutes because the audience was being too rowdy and shouting stuff out at him. Fans in the audience were reportedly yelling Chappelle's Show quotes like "I'm Rick James!" at Chappelle right off the bat, causing him to have trouble getting his act out. When he asked them to stop shouting, the people in the crowd refused to calm down. Chappelle then sat on a stool and started smoking while chit-chatting with the crowd for 15 more minutes to meet the required 25 minutes he was contractually obligated to perform for. At one point, he even read a book onstage that an audience member gave him.

Here are some quotes from the tail end of Chappelle's performance:

"One time I saw Damon Wayans onstage … someone in the audience screamed out, 'Hey, do Homey the Clown!' And he's like, 'Hey, I just want to do my jokes.' And someone else goes, 'Hey do Homey the Clown!' He goes, 'I really don't want to do that.' And the crowd goes, 'Homey the Clown, Homey the Clown.' He goes, 'You really wanna see Homey the Clown?' 'Yeah!' And then he farted in the microphone, and I'd never seen somebody do that before. And then he said, 'Homey don't play that.' He dropped the mic, and then he walked offstage. I fucked up when I left my show, you know why? Because my show only has to be 22 minutes of television. I coulda went on television. I coulda read the phone book for 22 minutes. And I woulda got 50 million dollars. I shoulda done that shit, but my ego wouldn't let me. But tonight is different. Tonight, my contract says 25 minutes, and I only have three minutes left. And when my three minutes is up, my ass is gone. I'm going straight to the bank and doing night deposit."

The audience then proceeded to boo Chappelle, which made him respond, "You're booing yourself. I want you to go home and look in the mirror and say 'Boo.' Remember, that's how I feel about you." The crowd booed him more, and he replied, "Ah, fuck you. I'm the one that has to get the review in the paper tomorrow. I'll have to read about this shit for months. And the next time, I go on television and they interview me and they say, 'Why'd you go back to Africa, I'm not gonna say Hartford did it. [laughs]"

Chappelle then concluded his performance by saying, "All right, you guys. I like some of you. I hate some of you. I forgive some of you, but I don't forget all of you. You guys are totally ruining my chances for running for Congress or something. Thank you. Good night." With his 25 minutes up, he set his mic on the floor and walked off stage while Kanye West's "New Slaves" played.

Check out some terrible quality video from the performance below:

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  • Waste of time and money

    I want my money back. He was an awful ending to a great show. What he did was uncalled for. It was a normal crowd, and he came out with a bad attitude.

    • emeria

      He really came out with a lot of negativity for no reason. The show was great up until him coming out. People were excited for him and he got upset at how excited they were.

  • Michael Desir

    This does not bode well for me.

  • Not Impressed

    Saw him in Dallas last weekend and it was disappointing but didn't do anything like this. Just some passive aggressiveness against the crowd for taking pictures/filming when they weren't supposed to.

  • seriously

    the rules are simple: you interrupt the performer, you get a shit performance. you wanna film the show, take pictures, talk to each other or heckle? stay home and shout at your tv like you probably do every day. Chapelle is awesome, respect the legend or go fuck yourself.

    • FZero

      The rules are simple- you're a professional. Some random yahoo does not derail you.

      Chappelle was listening to idiots like you telling him he's a legend, and forgot to bring his act with him. Thought he could just show up and be Dave Chappelle.

      Fucking embarrassing. Watch the Austin show from a few nights earlier. Just as bad, but the hipster crowd carried him.

      I love Dave, but this is some half-ass lazy bullshit.

      • UZERO


    • FZero

      And, hey, if I'm wrong, link a show where he kills it…

      No? He had no business even getting on the stage? And this is a perfect excuse for him because people yelled at him so he'll never get on stage again?

      • Ekwinoks
      • Bernadette

        I saw him at a surprise (it was announced just hours beforehand) 12am show in Oakland, CA at The New Parish where he tends to test his material and it was awesome. Then Lauryn Hill came on at 2. That was quite a night. Sorry, I didn't film it.

  • Bert Bert DiVietri

    Id have done the same thing. Soulless people with no regard for any thing other than themselves. Yelling like monkeys in a cage. F them.

    • Bert Bert DiVietri

      Also I wont be surprised if he quits the tour. He has had to deal with people yelling Rick James Bitch and otehr crap from his show for over 10 years. When he comes here to SF to practice his new jokes he does 2 or more hours at several places and kills.

      • Gabriel Thompson

        the SF show i went to involved lots of disruptions/questions, but he seems to enjoy it cause I think he only had like 30min of material

        • Bernadette

          It seems like he enjoys getting conversational at those shows.

    • Justin

      I like that way of putting it.

  • pooponyou

    Good for him. He is a performer and people, who might I add paid to see him perform, were rude, disruptive, and basically showed him no respect. So fuck the shit heads. They got what they deserved. The same level of disregard thatthey showed Dave.
    Dave Chappelle is the man

    • FZero

      His act was lazy, half-assed and shitty. Stop smoking Dave's pole and realize he showed up with nothing and expected everyone in the crowd to suck his dick and ask for more like you would.

      • UZERO


  • Poncey

    Sounds like the same coked up crowd that attended Charlie Sheen's tour

    • Joseph Stratton

      no, Sheen had no material. He admitted this by completely changing his format right-after bombing in Detroit. Chappelle was ill-prepared and will make this into a racial issue when in reality its about people being entertained for their hard-earned money.

  • pns123456

    You misquoted him. Listen again. He says, " I forgive some of you, but I don't FORGIVE all of you."

  • Former Dave fan

    I was there. I know Splitsider always blames the crowd/hecklers, but it's not how it seems. While a lot of the crowd sucked, Chappelle had little to no material. And he seemed high. Watch the second YouTube video for proof. It just wasn't funny. What a waste.

    • emeria

      Exactly. He totally just had a tantrum for it not being quiet enough for him in the festival, outdoor atmosphere.

      • carbonated_turtle

        I've seen comedians perform in large venues before, and the crowd didn't act like rowdy frat boys. If you're defending what happened, and you don't see anything wrong with it, then you're the one with the problem, not Chappelle.

        • emeria

          If you were there, then you would have seen that there was nothing wrong with people being excited for him. No one was upset until he started being negative and whining to the crowd. The crowd wasn't acting like rowdy frat boys, they were just excited. Most crowds at shows like that are pretty excited to be seeing someone they enjoy, hence why they pay money to see them. Good job blindly backing Chappelle on letting his ego get the best of him, it would seem that you are the problem.

          • Paddy

            Who gives a shit if the guy has no material, it's his fuckin show and you paid to see it so you're gonna sit there and listen to whatever boring ass unfunny shit he has to say, or you can get up and leave. Yeah I've been excited to see a lot of people before, it didn't make me wanna start quoting them like an obnoxious asshole, shouting shit they said in the past at them and interrupting them. Fuckin people who can't just shut the fuck up and listen, there is somethin seriously wrong and narcissistic about them where they always have to make themselves known or heard, they can't just shut the fuck up and watch anything they always think they're so special that they need to make pointless contributions that don't serve any purpose but to feed their own pathetic ego. You don't fuckin pay good money to go to any show to see and hear the audience talk, it's that simple. You don't pay good money to see and hear the audience talk. YOU DON'T PAY GOOD MONEY TO SEE AND HEAR THE FUCKING AUDIENCE TALK YOU BRAINLESS EXCITED FUCKING SOCIAL REJECT. Nobody gives a shit that you're excited, just God for once in your life sit down shut the fuck up and listen to somebody else talk. You don't fucking pay fucking good money to fucking see and fucking hear the audience fucking talk. Nobody does, they came to see the name on the marquee, not the unfunny faggot in section 1 row 25 seat 128 who can't shut the fuck up because he's a self centered pussy.

          • Nik Nickerton

            You're right, people are excited to see someone perform. That's completely acceptable. Be excited. Then shut up and let the man perform. It's called being courteous to the performer and the other members of the crowd. Would it be okay if Robert De Niro decided to do a broadway play, and assholes kept yelling lines from Taxi Driver at him? No. So why should it be acceptable to do it to Chapelle?

    • carbonated_turtle

      Okay, I watched the second video, and I heard douche bags shouting his catchphrases in the first minute. The crowd was acting like a bunch of idiots, and you got the performance you deserved.

  • SingerSongSLP

    It's like when people yap right in front of me when I'm performing my music. I don't go to where THEY work and interrupt them. Just like any vocational environment, performers are there with a specific agenda. Anyone who intrudes on that is ignorant and beyond disrespectful. I mean; come on. Is it really THAT hard to sit still with your mouth shut? I've seen preschoolers behave better than that.

    • NukeWaste

      That depends upon how bad you are. Pittsburgh has a collection of some of the worst musicians that think the rest of humanity should want to support them. They are are non-artists that truly deserve to have your cover charge taken out of their hide.

  • Kenny_Chill

    I saw him do the exact same thing to a crowd in Louisville about 10 years ago and I was totally in agreement with him. Anytime someone gets up to perform in front of us, we should at the very least give the people around us the opportunity to enjoy the show. Any comment other than saying to the person next to you something like, "I'm enjoying/hating this performance" is going too far. If you want to talk, take it outside.

  • Gabriel Thompson

    Did you see the size of the crowd. Stand-up doesn't work in a place like that.

    • Guest

      Stand up doesn't work in front of a crowd that doesn't want stand up but shuck-n-jive instead.

    • Marvin Ruffin

      Nah… I went to see him at University of Texas stadium (where their basketball team plays) right after he quit his show..funniest night of my life. These people missed out.

  • debido666

    Remember kids, it only takes one asshole to ruin it for everyone. Unfortunately, too many assholes.

    • Joseph Stratton

      please man…comedians (the professional ones) can handle hecklers.

      • UZERO


      • Nik Nickerton

        Yes, part of becoming a comedian is learning how to deal with hecklers. It's part of the job. But there is a difference between handling an asshat or two in a club, and dealing with two hundred asshats in an arena.

  • Patton Oswalt is wrong

    Bill Burr handling hecklers, legendary Philly performance:

  • Joshua Spearin

    I kinda see both sides of this. Yes, he is a performer, and people at his show should respect that. However, he seems to have a breakdown every other performance. People are excited for big celebrities. You think he'd be used to it now., and it's not like he didn't say and make millions off of those cheesy quotes.

    • NukeWaste

      He stopped having fun years ago. I feel sorry for him now. He should grow up now.

    • Pringle

      The issue isn't that they're cheesy, it's just that they're already existing content, while the essence of being a stand up comic is to continuously create new material. It's fun because it's different every night. It's not fun for him anymore, because he can't escape what he's already created. It makes him feel like he has peaked, which would drive anyone's motivation into the dust.

  • sisotope

    Saw him in Pittsburgh last night. He had a fantastic set and got some great material out of the bad show in Hartford. I don't think anyone at the show was disappointed. And a few other performers referenced the bad crowd in Hartford, so maybe it wasn't all Chappelle?

    Last night he brought his family out on stage to celebrate his wife's birthday. A nice moment considering all of the Chappelle-bashing that goes on whenever he or the audience has a bad night.

    If anyone gets the chance to see this tour – go. It is goddamn amazing.

    • Alicia

      Thanks — this is actually what I wanted to know, whether or not he would continue on the tour and do a whole set in the next place.

  • JohnnyHotsauce

    He killed tonight in Chicago. Great crowd, great atmosphere.

  • Pepp90

    We barley got the guy to come out of hiding!! How were people dumb enough to do that?!?!

  • Truth hurts

    You people need to shut up sometime!

    • anonymous coward

      What do you mean "you people"?

  • eth508

    I went to a chapelle show years ago. It was right after the show started getting hot. I remember while waiting for him to come on stage these stupid bro's could not stop yelling "im rich bitch". It didn't stop when he came out and you could tell it was chipping away at him even then. If you go to a comedy show and cant stop yelling catch phrases then you don't get it, and you never will.

  • Matt

    Is "I'm Rick James, bitch" STILL supposed to be funny? When is it going to stop? I guess a new frat boy is born every day.

  • BloodOnlySpills

    He did the right thing. Those people don't even deserve 25 minutes of his brilliance.

  • Fiorta

    Hartford got what they deserved. Stupid assholes who think they can just scream out at comedy shows are the worst. Fuck that audience.

  • VF

    Let's not forget this guy is not too tightly wound.

  • ZodLovesMaude

    Big baby

  • cja7740

    December 22, 2013 > Dave Chappelle is a / was a ….. great comedian – storyteller. But I saw him last night at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby, PA and though he certainly can still connect with an audience, his material was 80-90% vagina / dick / pussy humor ….well-beneath the former smarts he regularly exhibited. His material – if last night was indeed representative of where his performance comfort level is today (he has such a sensitive psyche) – is at such a base level. I left before the conclusion of the show. Its not that I am a prude in any sense of the word – its just that Dave Chappelle's abilities are far loftier, his previous edgy material thousands of miles above a show heavily based on dick & pussy references. RIP Dave Chappelle.

  • RalphCifaretto

    It wasn't just one heckler, it was many hecklers. How was he supposed to hear himself talk? They would not let up at all. That crowd should be embarrassed of itself.

  • RalphCifaretto

    They were howling the whole time like it was a heavy metal concert. You need to allow him to tell his jokes. 20% of that audience ruined it for the rest of them.

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  • PeterS

    Why do you title the video "Dave Chapelle Meltdown Hartford Connecticut" when it is patently obvious he didn't "meltdown" and the main problem was a section of the audience wouldn't let him do his act.

  • Davefannomore

    Has-been. (plural has-beens) 1.(pejorative) A person, especially one formerly popular or influential, who continues in their field after their popularity or effectiveness has peaked and is now in decline. This is the most accurate description of who we endured last night at the 11/1/2014 10 pm show at the Pageant in St. Louis, MO. When Dave came on stage it was impossible not to notice how obviously drunk beyond reason he was and he even admitted out loud in a humiliating matter of fact tone with no regard for the audience how completely drunk he was. As he drunkenly stumbled and mumbled his way through half his 10 pm set he often stopped to sit on the front steps of the stage as well as lay down against the speakers delivering his unfunny idiotic banter. My favorite moment was the end of the show. I had been a fan of his for years and was extremely disappointed and outragged that I wasted my hard earned money to support this selfish sloppy sad washed up has-been drunk previously funny comedian. Dave lost a fan last night and all my respect. Dave is not funny at all and needs to stop ripping off his loyal fans. It was sad to see him this way. This is one show that does not need to go on, it was/is a tragically pathetic showcase of a once funny drunk disaster of a man. Chappelle it's over! You are embarrassing yourself, your family, and your poor dog baba. You should have stayed on hiatus indefinitely…it is not too late to stop…please do us all a favor and let us remember you for the man you were, not the mess you are.

  • rayj12

    Hey fzero go fuck your self. Dave chappelles performances are legendary, one of the greats and to say he forgot his act? You are an idiot these people did not deserve to see his act. He does not have to gain these peoples respect for them to allow him to do do his act. They need to sit back, shut the fuck up, and listen to this man. And in return they get what they paid for, a night of comedy. It doesnt matter what performer it is, have respect. Heckling especially in comedy is the most disrespectful thing an audience member can do. I dont blame him. I think he handled himself very well.

  • justhadtoo

    Chapelle you are a clown stop acting like your one of those real artists you had on your show and posed with, Thes deva mather fuckers drive me nutts 50milliin fucking bucks and he has balls to bitch……..how about sucking it the fuck up and donating that 50 million to people in need while giving the fans that made that 50 million possible what they fucking diserve. Black people in hollywood problems damn!