A year after storming off stage during a stand up routine, Dave Chappelle has returned to Hartford, Connecticut, to apologize.
On Saturday night, the often erratic comedian returned to the Oddball Comedy Tour to finish his set.
In a video posted by blog Brooklyn Vegan, Chappelle took the stage after Louie C.K.. To the sound of thunderous applause, Chappelle tells the crowd:
“I have had 364 nights to think about the failed night, a year ago. I was really immature about what happened… All year, I was like ‘You know what? I just want to go back there because last year was so f**ked up.'”
Chappelle went on to explain how he bombed the next night’s show because of his experience in Hartford.
“I walked out on stage in Chicago and was scared as s**t,” Chappelle said. “I had never been scared on stage before. I was f**king horrified.”
Following the apology, Chappelle launched into a typical set, filled with jokes about sex, celebrity, and drugs.
During August 2013’s Oddball Comedy Tour, Chappelle fought with hecklers. According to Salon, Chappelle was offended by the rowdy crowd. After they reportedly started calling him ‘Rick James’ — a catchphrase from the Chappelle Show — Chappelle responded by calling the audience “young, white alcoholics”, then stormed off the stage.
The local paper, the Hartford Courant, interviewed members of the audience following the disastrous 2013 show. Latanya Barrett, told the paper:
“He was on stage for… 25 minutes. For the first five or 10, he actually did go into his routine, telling a few jokes. It was a typical crowd, yelling out the occasional ‘I love you’ or something random… But every time anyone would scream anything, he would stop speaking and tell us how awful we were… It was just a regular crowd… I didn’t understand why he was doing this.”
At the time, Ebony magazine defended Chappelle’s action, saying he was simply avoiding cheap racial humor. As reported by The Inquisitr, columnist Lesli-Ann Lewis wrote:
“There is a long history of asking African-Americans to endure racism silently; it’s characterized as grace, as strength. Chappelle’s Connecticut audience, made up of largely young White males, demanded a shuck and jive. Men who seemed to have missed the fine satire of the Chappelle show demanded he do characters who, out of the context of the show look more like more racist tropes”.
It seems this time around, both Chappelle and the audience behaved. On Saturday night, fellow performer Aziz Ansari posted an Instagram photo showing Chappelle on stage. The caption read:
“[This is] Dave Chappelle getting a standing ovation at Hartford tonight. He came out with us to Oddball tonight. It was awesome. This is the same venue where dummies yelled Rick James at him all night and f**ked up the show last year. They weren’t there tonight and the show was great.”
[Photo source: Aziz Ansari]