David Letterman took the stage for a Netflix Is a Joke Festival event Friday and appeared to respond to the recent attack on Dave Chappelle at the Hollywood Bowl.
Letterman hosted a live comedy show from the Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles that also featured fellow comics Rosebud Baker, Phil Wang and Sam Morril. At the start of the evening, the longtime CBS late-night mainstay thanked the audience for attending and then made apparent reference to Chappelle getting attacked Tuesday night at a different Netflix Is a Joke event.
On Saturday, Netflix shared footage via social media of Letterman’s show, and the streaming service titled the video, “David Letterman on the Dave Chappelle Incident,” although the clip did not include him mentioning Chappelle by name.
In the video, the 75-year-old star could be seen adjusting his glasses, suddenly appearing to get startled and running to the side of the stage. After regaining composure, Letterman quipped, “I’m sorry — thought I saw a guy coming up here.” He then pretended to be listening to someone in the audience and said, “It’s just a waiter? I’m so sorry. It’s just been a little alarming — you know what I mean?”
Letterman went on to say, “In deference to the people coming out here, let me just say this: When the show is finished, I will be in the lobby, and if anybody wants to come and beat me up, by God, come on out.” He then pretended to look for a show of hands as he asked, “How many of you would like to hit me right now?”
Chappelle was performing Tuesday when a man charged the stage, tackling him to the ground and pointing a replica firearm at the comedian, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. The suspect, later identified as Isaiah Lee, 23, was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. After the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday it declined to pursue felony charges, the L.A. City Attorney’s Office filed four misdemeanor charges against Lee.
During a secret set at the Comedy Store late Thursday, Chappelle addressed the incident, which came a day after his rep said the star wouldn’t let the attack “overshadow the magic” of his Hollywood Bowl shows.