UPDATE: We now have video of what happened, provided after the jump. The footage begins a few minutes into the set, presumably after the crowd had begun disrupting the performance.
ORIGINAL POST: Dave Chappelle has returned to stand up comedy, and yet, on the fourth night of this tour, he has reportedly had an on stage meltdown. Reports are in that Chappelle did a few minutes of comedy in various lengths, with some reports saying as much as ten minutes and others as few as three minutes. Overall, what’s certain is this: the crowd in Hartford, Connecticut was loud and cheering; Chappelle wanted this to stop, did a few minutes of comedy, and then when the crowd didn’t quiet down, he sat down on a stool, smoked a cigarette, and read a book until his time obligations were fulfilled.
Some fans are reporting that he told the crowd they sucked during the thirty or so minutes of sitting on a stool without doing comedy. First hand accounts suggest the crowd was just cheering to say they loved him and wanted his return. Others are saying the crowd in Hartford was unruly and got what they deserved. AbsolutePunk reports the following: “After about five minutes of trying to do his act per usual, repeated shouts of either praise or Chappelle’s Show quotes from the crowd prompted him to say that ‘you are wasting your money, I’m still getting paid.’ As the shouting continued, he stopped his act, sat on the stage, and began smoking, refusing to continue until it quieted down. The audience began to turn on him, and Chappelle began saying how bad the crowd was. After about twenty-five minutes of back-and-forth with the crowd, he began reading from a book aloud on the edge of the stage, and fans started to leave. His time ran out shortly thereafter, and he got up and left.”
Regardless, given Chappelle’s absence from standup, this does not bode well for his return. We’ll update you if there is an official statement on what happened or if video surfaces from the event; currently, the festival MC reports Dave is OK. We also have been in touch with several show goers, who will perhaps give more clarification, a first hand account, or direct footage. Until then, the Laugh Button has a nice roundup of social media commenters.
Chappelle also asked the DJ to play “New Slaves” by Kanye West and walked off the stage at the end.