Comedian Dave Chappelle had a bad night in Hartford, Conn., last night, as he had a meltdown, was booed and eventually walked off stage. Dave shut down because of some loudmouth hecklers in the crowd, and sat on his stool without uttering a word. Eventually Chappelle told the booing crowd his contract was for a 25 minute set, that he had three left, and, “when my 3 minutes is up, my ass is gone”, according to TMZ on Friday, Aug. 30.
Supposedly Dave Chappelle became agitated over some audience members being loud, so he decided to punish them by stopping his performance and just sitting there on stage, not saying a word.
Eventually the crowd grew irritated and began booing him. Chappelle then took to the microphone and told them how he f–ked up by leaving his TV show, because as he put it, he was only required to do 22 minutes of television per week.
Dave told the crowd that he could’ve read the phone book for 22 minutes on his “Chappelle’s Show” and he would’ve earned $50 million dollars, adding he couldn’t do that though. But then he started doing something like that onstage last night.
That’s when he went into his tirade about only having three minutes left onstage. As the crowd continued to boo Dave for his comments, he responded in kind telling them they’re booing themselves.
Latanya Barrett of Bridgeport, Conn., told The Hartford Courant about her experience at the show. She said everything was fine for the first 10 minutes or so.
But, Dave would shut down whenever someone in the crowd would yell out “I love you” or something like that, as excited crowds are known to do.
Barrett said the comic would stop speaking and tell the audience how awful they were. She couldn’t understand his reaction.
Chappelle then took a book passed to him by a fan sitting in the front row and began reading excerpts from it, as he smoked a cigarette and stared at the audience.
Eventually Barrett says he told the fans, “I don’t like most of you. I like some of you. Basically, I’m done”, and then he vacated the stage.
Barrett described it as the most awkward and tense crowd situation she’d ever experienced. However, other fans praised his performance and disputed it as being any kind of meltdown.
At one point in the awkwardness between the comic and the audience, Dave said he didn’t care, because he’s the one who was going to have to read about this all day tomorrow, not them.
This isn’t the first time Dave Chappelle has pulled a stunt like this. In June 2004, he walked off the stage in San Francisco after fans kept shouting “I’m Rick James, bitch”.
That was one of the catch phrases from his popular television show. He did eventually returned to the stage later that night though.
And he famously bailed on his TV show in May of 2005, by impulsively flying to South Africa, saying that he didn’t like the direction the show was taking.
Chappelle later blamed his actions on being overworked, as well as on lingering grief over his father’s 1998 death.
Dave was performing at the Comcast Theatre as part of the Funny Or Die Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival Thursday night.
Some fans said the fact that Chappelle didn’t take the stage until some four and a half hours after the doors opened, as well as it being a large and loud venue for the event, may have contributed to what happened.
Dozens of angry fans were said to have demanded a refund after the Thursday’s Hartford show.