So-called comedian Dave Chappelle opened for Chris Rock and Kevin Hart’s comedy show after his own slot at First Avenue in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was cancelled.
Chappelle opened Rock Hart: Only Headliners Allowed at Madison Square Garden in New York on Saturday (23 July) where he criticised the venue for trying to “cancel” him.
First Avenue cancelled the self-described comic’s show on Wednesday (20 July) just a few hours before he was ready to perform due to backlash against his highly controversial special The Closer.
Instead, he moved his set to the Varsity Theater, where he once again made crude jokes about reproductive systems and pronouns, as well as countless rants about cancel culture to his sold-out crowd, saying that “comedy is just comedy”.
The 48-year-old called a group of protestors who stood outside First Avenue on Wednesday “transgender lunatics” during the rescheduled show, adding: “I can see a transgender hit squad coming from a mile away.”
According to a review by the Star Tribune, Dave Chappelle initially seemed “sympathetic to protestors.
“But after a few glasses of booze (and a Foggy Geezer beer), he admitted that the cancellation had been devastating and hoped the club would be more courageous in the future,” reviewer Neal Justin added.
He had also allegedly called monkeypox a “gay disease” and “chided a woman in the front row for wearing a mask”.
He then returned several days later to Rock and Hart’s special in New York in a surprise opener. Chappelle reportedly told the crowd: “Despite what you may have read about in the news, I’m OK and I appreciate the support.”
In his 2019 Netflix special Sticks & Stones, Dave Chappelle said that trans people “hate my f**king guts and I don’t blame them” because he “can’t stop writing jokes” about the trans community.
He then doubled down on the controversy, saying he is “Team TERF” in The Closer while claiming that LGBTQ+ community had “cancelled JK Rowling”.
“I am not saying that to say trans women aren’t women, I am just saying that those pussies that they got… You know what I mean?” he said during the special. “I’m not saying it’s not pussy, but it’s beyond pussy or impossible pussy. It tastes like pussy, but that’s not quite what it is, is it?”
Kevin Hart tweeted after Rock Hart: Only Headliners Allowed, saying that it was “by far the best moment of my career”, adding: “I can’t even explain it… I can’t find the words… Just know that last night was the true definition of a ‘EPIC NIGHT’.”
Last night was by far the best moment of my career…I can’t even explain it…I can’t find the words…Just know that last night was the true definition of a “EPIC NIGHT”…I love my brothers more than words can explain. We made history last night!!!#RockHartChappelle pic.twitter.com/x1XtRXZQCO
— Kevin Hart (@KevinHart4real) July 24, 2022
The comedian has had his own perils with so-called cancel culture after a series of posts he wrote between 2009 and 2012 calling gay people “f*gs” forced him to step down from hosting the Oscars in 2019.
He initially refused to apologise but, after being pressured to step down, claimed he was sincerely sorry for the “insensitive words from my past”.
After a two-year debacle over the situation, Hart said he doesn’t “give a s**t about [cancel culture]” in an interview with The Sunday Times, saying: “If somebody has done something truly damaging then, absolutely, a consequence should be attached. But when you just talk about… nonsense? When you’re talking, ‘Someone said! They need to be taken [down]!’ Shut the f**k up! What are you talking about?”