Kevin Hart says what happened to Dave Chappelle‘s attacker sends a message to anyone thinking of charging a comedy stage in the future.
During an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” on Thursday, the 42-year-old comedian spoke to guest host Mike Birbiglia about the incident earlier this week when Chappelle was attacked during his live set.
Hart shared that he was glad security was able to take control of the situation, “Somebody getting their ass whipped sends a message out to other people that was like, ‘You know, I was thinking about doing that, but seeing that, I don’t really want to do that.'”
Despite the sudden attack, the “Jumanji” star praised Chappelle for his professionalism and decorum after the episode.
“I think that the world that we’re in right now, there’s a lot of lines that have gotten blurred, and sometimes you got to take a couple steps backwards to take some steps forwards,” Hart said, seeming to reference the incident between Will Smith and Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars.
“Dave went back after that and finished doing the show. Didn’t let that thing be a big thing. Quickly moved on from it and got back to doing comedy, and that’s what a professional does,” he said, commending the comedy legend. “Ultimately, these moments of unprofessionalism should not break professionals. They shouldn’t shape or mold the world that we’re now being seen or viewed in. It’s time to get back to a place of respect for your live entertainer.”
Hart also talked about how comedians have been heckled since the dawn of time, and recalled when he was once hit by a buffalo wing thrown by an audience member.
“Comedian has always dealt with heckler; heckler has always shouted out things because he felt that he could,” Hart said. “A comedian’s way of shutting that down was to say things back. It wasn’t bullying. It wasn’t picking on. It was all done in fun. We’ve now lost sight of the relationship of audience to comedian, and that line has gotten blurred to where it’s like, ‘Well, I don’t need to do this and like this, and I can stand up and make a point.'”
He concluded, “It becomes a hard case of, why did you come? Why did you buy a ticket if that was your want or need? When I say we need to get back to the place of respecting the entertainer, respect the craft. If you’re coming, come to have a good time and enjoy the person that you saw. If you have no interest in that, you don’t have to buy a ticket. You don’t have to go.”