Comedians have been rallying around one another as it appears they’ve been under attack. Their freedom of speech and artistic creativity used to craft their jokes and material are seemingly all under scrutiny from many on social media. Millions witnessed when Will Smith walked up on the Oscars stage and aggressively assaulted comedian Chris Rock after he made a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Months later, another legendary comedian, Dave Chappelle, got attacked. Who is going to save the artists that give us comic relief?
You may recall the violent incident that occurred at this year’s Netflix Is A Joke festival in Hollywood. While Dave Chappelle was on stage at the Hollywood Bowl, the video captured a man running up on stage to attack and appear to tackle the comedian.
But try as he might have, the man identified as 23-year-old Isaiah Lee was unsuccessful in causing any bodily harm to Dave Chappelle. While security was unable to thwart Lee’s attempts to actually get on the stage, something like that would be impossible in most cases at an event such as that would be impossible. He was eventually stopped by a crowd of people.
Photos of the aftermath showed Isaiah Lee on a stretcher in a highly disheveled state. The Hollywood Reporter shared details of a secret comedy show that Dave Chappelle held at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles days later. According to the publication, Chappelle addressed the incident and alerted the crowd that he actually asked to speak to Isaiah Lee after his set at the Hollywood Bowl.
The Chappelle Show star expressed that Lee told him a story of his grandmother’s removal from the Brooklyn neighborhood she lived in for years. Isaiah Lee’s apparent hopes were to draw attention to his situation. Interestingly enough, the suspect released a song on streaming platforms named after Dave Chappelle.
Dave Chappelle mentioned actor and comedian Jamie Foxx at the same secret show. He shared that seeing him in a “sheriff’s hat” altered his mood. While at the Hollywood Bowl, Chappelle also spoke of the Academy Award-winning’s interaction with Isaiah Lee right after the incident. Video captured from TMZ shows both comedians on stage as Chappelle praises Jamie Foxx. “Whenever you’re in trouble, Jamie Foxx will show up in a sheriff’s hat,” said Chappelle. This was after he lambasted the venue for their inaction in protecting him.
Jamie Foxx then took the mic and returned the praise for Dave Chappelle, labeling him a “genius” that needs to be “protected at all times.” Foxx stated that he initially thought the moment was a part of the show but quickly realized that wasn’t the case. Jamie Foxx then offered that same sentiment to every other comedian that graced the stage that night, calling them all “genius.” “I enjoyed myself thoroughly, and we’re not going to let nothing happen to you,” Jamie Foxx promised all of his comedian friends in attendance.