Chris Rock asked 'was that Will Smith?' after Dave Chappelle stage attack

·4-min read
Chris Rock has joked about Will Smith following Dave Chappelle's attack on Tuesday night (Getty Images)
Chris Rock has joked about Will Smith following Dave Chappelle's attack on Tuesday night. (Getty Images)

Chris Rock reportedly referenced his infamous slap from Will Smith just moments after comedian Dave Chappelle was attacked on stage.

On Tuesday night, a man rushed on stage and 'lunged at' Chappelle sending the comedian 'flying in the air' during his performance at the Hollywood Bowl at the Netflix Is A Joke festival.

The incident occurred as the 48-year-old was closing the show and thanking the comedians, including Rock, Leslie Jones and Jon Stewart, who had performed before him.

According to onlookers, Rock joined Chappelle on stage after security took the man away and apparently grabbed the microphone and jokingly asked the crowd: “Was that Will Smith?”

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 28:  (EXCLUSIVE ACCESS, SPECIAL RATES APPLY) Comedians Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock attend the 2016 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 28, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Kevin Mazur/VF16/WireImage)
Comedians Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock attend the 2016 Vanity Fair Oscar Party. (VF16/WireImage)

The 57-year-old stand-up comedian was referring to the the Oscars in March when Will Smith walked up to the stage and slapped him across the face after he made a joke about the actor's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith's shaved head.

On Tuesday night's Netflix incident, just as Rock had once he regained his composure after the Oscar slap, a stunned Chappelle also tried to make light of his attack.

He joked that “it was a trans man” who did it, in reference to the backlash he received last year for his stand-up special The Closer, during which he offended members of the LGBTQ+ community by siding with Harry Potter star J.K. Rowling's controversial views on gender.

Comedian Dave Chappelle arrives on stage at the Kennedy Center for the Mark Twain Award for American Humor on October 27, 2019 in Washington, DC. - This years' award recipient is comedian Dave Chappelle. (Photo by Alex Edelman / AFP) (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Comedian Dave Chappelle on stage at the Kennedy Center, 2019. (AFP via Getty Images)

Several fans who attended last night's show took to Twitter to share their shock over the debacle, including author Julissa Arce who tweeted: “Dave Chappelle got tackled to the ground on stage! Then Chris Rock came out and said, ‘was it Will Smith?!’ The wildest s***, I have ever seen!”

Los Angeles-based journalist Sharon Carpenter, who was in the audience, told the PA news agency: “It looked like someone dashed from the side of the stage, lunged at Dave, and all I saw was Dave basically flying in the air.

“He fell backwards onto his back, with his arms and legs up in the air. He was obviously in shock. We were all in shock. And I thought for a moment ‘OK, is this a prank?’ because they had made some Will Smith jokes.

“Even though Chris Rock was there, Dave was making some jokes, it was fair game, right? He was making some jokes about the situation.”

Carpenter said security officers and members of Chappelle’s entourage had then rushed on to the stage.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 01: (L-R) Jerry Seinfeld and Dave Chappelle attend NETFLIX IS A JOKE PRESENTS - Ted's Brunch on May 01, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Netflix)
Jerry Seinfeld and Dave Chappelle attend Netflix Is Joke Presents – Ted's Brunch, 2022 . (Getty Images for Netflix)

She added: “He just tried to keep the show going and was making jokes about the situation, but he was also pissed off about it as well.

“What was crazy too is that earlier in the night he made a joke about ‘Oh, I heard people are getting slapped around here’.”

A spokeswoman for the Hollywood Bowl said an investigation had been launched into the incident.

British comedian Jimmy Carr, who was at the show shared a selfie taken with Chappelle and tweeted: “The Hollywood Bowl show with the legendary Dave Chappelle was crazy. Just happy everyone’s ok.”

The moment has also since been shared online by TikTok user @rebhorn.

Chappelle was also joined on stage by Jamie Foxx, a video showed, whom he thanked for rushing on stage and helping him during the attack.

“Whenever you’re in trouble, Jamie Foxx will show up in a sheriff’s hat,” Chappelle had joked.

Rock had spoken publicly about the altercation in his first stand-up gig since the incident at the end of March.

US actor Will Smith (R) slaps US actor Chris Rock onstage during the 94th Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on March 27, 2022. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)
US actor Will Smith slaps US actor Chris Rock onstage during the 94th Oscars. (AFP via Getty Images)

He had been welcomed to the stage with a lengthy standing ovation by his fans and asked the addressed the drama with: “How was your weekend?” which incited uproarious laughter.

Read more: Oyelowo: It would be 'tragic' if Will Smith Oscars slap lead to diversity 'backslide'

“I don’t have a bunch of s**t [to say] about what happened," he added. "So if you came to hear that, I’m not… I have, like, a whole show I wrote before this weekend.”

The incident was met with major condemnation of Oscar-winner Smith’s behaviour and led to him resigning from the Academy a few days later.

Smith has also been banned from attending any Oscar events for the next 10 years.

Watch: Comedian Dave Chappelle attacked while performing onstage

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