BSO writer Patrick Sicher provided details from Dave Chappelle’s “bombed” performance at the 15th Annual Zo’s Summer Grove, you can view his article here which included tweets from Roland S. Martin and 3 minutes of footage of Dave’s performance. After a long night on the town, reading various stories on the performance this afternoon, some key details are missing from last night.
I am a loyal fan of Dave Chappelle and being the headliner I paid for two tickets with my own money to finally see Dave back in action. Hopefully these details of ZSG comedy show, can things clear on the performance.
Doug E. Fresh performed to open to the crowd and he provided the needed energy for a crowd to see 6 comedians perform.
Miami’s own DJ Irie was on stage adding to the positive atmosphere.
D.L. Hughley was the host and did an excellent job.
Sitting front row was Alonzo Mourning, Bill Russell, Roland S. Martin, and Patrick Ewing who was given a nights worth of “ugly” jokes from Hughley but all in good spirit. Hughley also was joked how he was a “Laker fan” and Russell defeating his Lakers on many times in Russell’s career.
The rest of the comedians provided energy and the crowd was fully engaged. They were funny and I was enjoying the night. Roz G and Smokey Suarez in particular are two comics I would advise to go to their show if they are performing near you.
The venue was at Hard Rock Live, an auditorium style venue with a big stage. This wasn’t a small setting comedy club where its necessary to engage the crowd must less a single heckler.
Chappelle gets on stage with a standing ovation from the audience. First thing Dave mentions is he HASN’T PERFORMED IN A LONG TIME and doesn’t go into routine. Which leads to an array of “We Love You Dave” from the ladies and a heckler, instead of going into his routine, he fully engaged the guy.
Keep in mind this is still within the first 5 minutes and Dave started his routine; then heckler said someone and Dave fully engaged him once again and I was sitting in disbelief for two reasons.
1) can some fans please “STFU” and let him perform, a few more hecklers joined in.
2) wait a second, Dave had zero energy and something isn’t right.
From there he mentioned how hard his life has been since losing the 50 million and said no “I’m not rich B****”. Mocking one of the best quotes from his famous skit “Reparations, from “Chappelle’s Show” said by Donnell Rawlings.
For the next 40 minutes: he lit a cigarette, acknowledged Bill Russell and used Patrick Ewing to relate on how fans can love you, then hate you because of a performance. Then Dave shrugged his shoulders and continued with going back and forth with heckler.
During the act, he was not happy with being filmed on camera phones and said how this performance will get on the news. Then he looked over to where Mourning, Ewing, and Russell was sitting, then realized Roland S. Martin was there and was particular shocked. “Although I believe Martin being there may have been in his initially material in the show.”
My frustration with Dave and members of the audience turned into sad and sorrow for Dave.
He isn’t the same comic and at this point I don’t think he ever will be. Losing the money and whatever backlash he received afterwards, he definitely has not gotten over it. I believe his long tenure away from the big stage was the main reason for the performance going bad. He was rusty and looked like a young comic lost in the big lights. Even when he was exiting the stage, he still received some applause and the crowd was stunned in disappointment rather than wishing the worst and bashing Chappelle.
I definitely hope he can recover and give us for more laughs for years to come. However I think working behind the camera might be best for him at this point. Seeing Dave Chappelle last night was the equivalent of a boxer or athlete past his prime and seeing him get knocked out or ran circles around in a game. This was a Chappelle I never wished to see and I hope he can continue to work and give his fans something to cheer for, I just don’t expect it to be “Stand-Up comedy” moving forward.