Chappelle performed a secret show at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles on Thursday night and immediately talked about the scary incident two nights prior. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the comic received “a hero’s welcome” from the star-studded crowd that included Kim Kardashian and Sean “Diddy” Combs when he hit the stage. Rock decide to join Chappelle 10 minutes into the set.
“At least you got smacked by someone of repute!” Chappelle joked to Rock. “I got smacked by a homeless guy with leaves in his hair.”
Chappelle was attacked on the last night of his historic run at the Hollywood Bowl. After the show, he apparently convinced the LAPD to let him speak to his assailant.
“I needed to talk to him,” Chappelle explained, noting the man seemed mentally ill.
The comedian proceeded to ask 23-year-old Isaiah Lee, who was arrested in connection to the assault, why he would do such a thing. Chappelle told the crowd that Lee began talking about his grandmother in Brooklyn, who had been forced out of her neighborhood by gentrification. Lee apparently wanted to draw attention to her situation.
Lee will not face felony charges for the assault, much to the dismay of some Los Angeles residents.
“The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has referred the case to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office for misdemeanor filing consideration. After reviewing the evidence, prosecutors determined that while criminal conduct occurred, the evidence as presented did not constitute felony conduct. The District Attorney’s Office does not prosecute misdemeanor crimes within the city of Los Angeles,” DA spokesperson Greg Risling tells Yahoo Entertainment.
Lee was charged with four misdemeanors, including battery and possession of a weapon. The man was armed with a replica gun that can eject a knife blade when discharged.
Entourage creator Doug Ellin is among those who spoke out: “Why would you charge him with a felony ? Why not give him a trophy?… WE ARE IN BIG TROUBLE !”
Lee pleaded not guilty on Friday, according to reports, and a judge granted Chappelle’s request for a protective order.
Yahoo Entertainment reached out to Chappelle’s rep for comment but did not immediately receive a response. His spokesperson issued a statement on Wednesday saying the comedian didn’t want the assault to “overshadow” his shows.
“The performances by Chappelle at the Hollywood Bowl were epic and record-breaking and he refuses to allow [Tuesday’s] incident to overshadow the magic of this historic moment,” his rep told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement. “Dave Chappelle celebrated four nights of comedy and music, setting record-breaking sales for a comedian at the Hollywood Bowl. This run ties Chappelle with Monty Python for the most headlined shows by any comedian at the Hollywood Bowl, reaching 70,000 fans of diverse backgrounds during the first Netflix Is A Joke: The Festival.”
Chappelle’s spokesperson added, “As unfortunate and unsettling as the incident was, Chappelle went on with the show,” and praised Jamie Foxx and Chris Rock for helping to “calm the crowd with humor.”