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File: Comedian Dave Chappelle speaks to students of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts April 3, 2006, in Washington, DC.
Comedian Dave Chappelle is on the road, co-headlining Funny Or Die’s Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival. Thursday night, he angrily walked off stage at a show in Connecticut after a few jokes, apparently thanks to a rowdy crowd, just over two weeks before he’s scheduled to appear in Irvine.
Here’s a video of the end of the set leading up to his walkout (warning: includes adult language):
The show’s official Twitter account made note of what was going on, asking for the crowd to quiet down:
Hey Hartford! Pipe down and let Dave Chappelle do his thing!— Oddball Fest (@OddballFest) August 30, 2013
Chappelle asked if the crowd had given that kind of response for everyone. He sat down and told a story about Richard Pryor walking off the stage after saying he was drained during a show, and how it signaled the end of his time touring. He also told a story of Damon Wayans dropping the mic and walking off stage when an audience member insisted that he do one of his popular characters.
Chappelle noted that his contract said he only had to be on stage for 25 minutes and waited out the last few minutes. He said that the show had been a nightmare and that he was leaving, and apologized to those who were there who actually wanted to hear a show. He said that he liked some members of the audience, hated some others, forgave some and didn’t forgive others. Chappelle said goodnight, put down his mic and exited to Kanye West’s “New Slaves.”
One member of the crowd wrote an article for “Ebony” inferring that the show was Chappelle quitting comedy.
After the dramatic evening, should we expect Chappelle to fulfill his contract and appear in Irvine on Sunday, Sept. 15? He has a history of walking out on contracts before, famously leaving his $50 million “Chappelle’s Show” contract after frustrations around race and other aspects of the show. Still, Chappelle’s been combative with audiences before, and given his set last night also included him saying he regretted not just collecting his $50 million by reading the phone book on his show, he’ll likely be around — but how he’ll react if an audience gets out of control again remains to be seen.