Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle perform secret stand-up gig and joke about attacks

Kim Kardashian and Sean 'Diddy' Combs were in the audience

Dave Chappelle, left, and Chris Rock appeared together onstage at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles as part of a 'secret gig'. Photos: AP; Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences via Reuters
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Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle appeared together for a gig at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles this week, where they shared jokes about their recent experiences of being attacked on stage.

Just a few days after being tackled by a man brandishing a fake gun with ejecting knife while performing at the Hollywood Bowl, Chappelle was the surprise guest at the Belly Room, an intimate space that seats only 70 people, on Thursday night.

The A-list crowd included Kim Kardashian, Sean "Diddy" Combs, rapper Yasiin Bey, aka Mos Def, and comedian Jeff Ross.

Chappelle's addition to the line-up was last-minute, but rumours had already started to circulate ahead of the performance, and fans paid up to $160 for a ticket to the "secret show" with an unnamed star comedian, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which referred to the moment Rock and Chappelle were on stage as "historic".

Chappelle then surprised guests by taking to the stage, where he was later joined by fellow comic Rock.

Both men traded jokes about their recent onstage experiences. Chappelle was performing last week when he was tackled to the ground by Isaiah Lee, who had a fake gun with ejecting knife.

Rock was famously attacked at the 2022 Academy Awards, when Will Smith slapped the comedian for joking about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith's alopecia-caused hair loss.

At the Belly Room gig, Chappelle joked that Rock should be happy he was assaulted by someone famous. “At least you got smacked by someone of repute. I got smacked by a homeless guy with leaves in his hair.”

In reply, Rock joked that he'd “got smacked by the softest [expletive] that ever rapped".

Shortly after Chappelle’s attack, which happened during the Netflix Is A Joke comedy festival, Rock, who was also in the line-up, grabbed the microphone and said, “was that Will Smith?”

The pair also touched on other subjects — such as the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard libel trial and the threat to Roe v Wade — but the main subject was Chappelle's attack.

Chappelle also revealed he'd spoken with his attacker after the incident. Lee had said he did it to raise awareness about his grandmother who had been forced out of her Brooklyn neighbourhood owing to gentrification.

Lee has since been charged with battery, possession of a weapon with intent to assault and two other misdemeanour counts, but has pleaded not guilty. Lee's bail is set at $30,000, which will be reviewed at a hearing on May 10, and a pretrial hearing is scheduled for May 20.

Smith, following his assault on Rock, resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and has been banned from attending the Oscars for a decade. He made a public apology and is now rumoured to be in therapy. Until recently, Rock had refused to address the incident in public.

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Updated: May 08, 2022, 8:13 AM
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