Dave Chappelle Explains Bizarre Performance at Zo’s Summer Groove Comedy Show
Reclusive funnyman Dave Chappelle shocked fans, last month, when, during Alonzo Mourning’s charitable “Zo’s Summer Groove” comedy show, the comedian became frustrated by disruptive audience members and refused to tell jokes for most of his hour-long set. Now, in his first interview in five years, Chappelle is opening up about the strange night and explaining his side of the story.
According to RadarOnline, as Chappelle explained to 94.9 FM’s Doghouse JV, his set at the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Fla.,a on July 23 was marred by the casino’s owners, who distracted the entertainer with their nonstop chatter, catcalls and camera phones.
“The whole front row starts heckling me and apparently the front row was the Seminole Indians, whose casino it was. So, security didn’t want to tell them to be quiet,” explained Chappelle. “I can hear and see everything [in the front row]. At a certain point, I was just like, ‘You can’t possibly expect me to do a show right now’ … there’s got to be a little bit of cooperation.”
Chappelle then decided to stop his show, and in a bizarre move, focused on silently reading his text messages as frustrated audience members booed him. The former “Chappelle’s Show” comedian, who redeemed himself onstage the next night, now admits that audience reaction is important to him and he never wants to fail at a show.
“Yeah, of course you want to do well,” said Chappelle. “Listen, comedy is a very approval-oriented field. At the same time, if I put forth a legitimate effort, then I feel like, if it doesn’t work out, that’s really all I can do about it.”