Dave Chappelle reveals the man who attacked him on stage told him his motives afterwards
Chappelle, 48, was performing at the Hollywood Bowl on Tuesday night (3 May) as part of the Netflix is a Joke festival when a man rushed on to the stage and attacked him, carrying a replica handgun fitted with an ejecting knife blade.
Chappelle yesterday revealed, at a stand-up set at the Comedy Store, that he convinced the Los Angeles police to allow him to enter the room where Lee was being held. “I needed to talk to him,” Chappelle said.
The comedian said that he asked Lee what provoked his attack, after which Lee – who Chappelle said appeared to him to be mentally ill – told him a story about his grandmother from Brooklyn, who had been forced to leave her neighbourhood because of gentrification.
Chappelle said that, as far as he understood it, the attack was meant to draw attention to her hardship.
Chappelle also described a touching moment he shared with his son in the moments after the attack, who hugged him and told him: “Dad, I love you.”
Thursday’s performance was attended by celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Sean “Diddy” Combs, rapper Yasiin Bey and comedian Jeff Ross. Chris Rock, who was slapped on stage by Will Smith at the Oscars in March, joined Chappelle on stage.