In the middle of what was supposed to be a comedy act, Dave Chappelle walked off of a stage in Hartford, Conn., and pulled a disappearance act, much to the dismay of his fans. Chappelle’s disappearance act became the talk of the Internet, another sign of the actor/comedian’s at times erratic behavior.
The actual reason behind Chappelle’s walkout continued to be a mystery until hours later, according to The (Hartford) Courant.
There were initial rumors that Chappelle might have disappeared because he had heard jeers from the audience, or because Chappelle seemed to get bored at one point during his act and read aloud from a book handed to him by a lady who had a front row seat.
According to bridgeport resident, Latanya Barrett, author of the blog sprinklesandbooze.com, Dave Chappelle started off his performance as if nothing was wrong:
He was on stage for … 25 minutes. For the first five or 10, he actually did go into his routine, telling a few jokes.”
She continued, adding:
It was a typical crowd, yelling out the occasional ‘I love you’ or something random. … But every time anyone would scream anything, he would stop speaking and tell us how awful we were. … It was just a regular crowd. … I didn’t understand why he was doing this.”
CTI Media employee and owner of the Courant, Chris Moran, said that the break between the previous act and Chappelle’s performance was a bit excessive, which led to some people leaving their seats for awhile to walk around. Chappelle didn’t seem to like it when he saw people taking their seats as he was doing his comedy routine.
The tour Dave Chappelle is currently on is called “The Funny or Die Oddball Comedy Curiosity Tour.”
The tour began in Austin, Texas, and Chappelle received a standing ovation there. Chappelle can be an extremely funny standup comedian when he’s at his best, but he has exhibited erratic behavior that led to a period of years when he gave up performing. This tour marks a comeback attempt for Chappelle.
Mack Mama is the person whose book Chappelle read aloud from. It was one which she had authored, titled Tales of an Original Bad Girl, about her life and also the time she spent in prison. She describes her experience there and what happened in an interview in Ebony, and her book sounds like it would be well worth reading.
She didn’t blame Chappelle for walking out, because the rowdy, drunken audience composed mostly of white people were expecting more of Chappelle’s old comedy act, and seemed disappointed when he wanted to do new material reflecting his growth as a person and as a comedian:
To be honest, [there] was a lot of love in the building for Dave. It was a few hecklers that wanted the Half Baked version of Dave Chappelle, and he was giving up the 40-year-old mature comedic genius. He was misunderstood. The guy just wanted some respect. He did a great show in Austin, Texas and it was uninterrupted. Dave talked about why he left the game, personal life stories and the darker side of his life. That is what he was going to do in Hartford, until the drunken comments began spilling out. It was too much for him.”
Despite his “disappearing act” in Hartford, Connecticut, if the rest of the comedy tour goes well, Dave Chappelle might be able to prove to his fans that he has returned to his old self and he might once again recapture his former status as one of the world’s top comedians.
Written by: Douglas Cobb