Chris Rock makes Will Smith joke after man attacks Dave Chappelle at Hollywood Bowl

Chris Rock at FX Winter TCA Starwalk in Pasadena
Chris Rock at the FX Winter TCA Starwalk at the Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena, California. Pic credit: ©

Comedian Dave Chappelle is unharmed after a man tackled him on stage Tuesday during his comedy set at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, California.

The attacker, who was reportedly armed, was later removed from the venue on a stretcher and taken away via ambulance with injuries to his face and arm.

Following the attack, Chappelle made a few jokes about the incident, including joking that the man who attacked him was “trans,” referring to earlier remarks he made about the criticism he received for being transphobic.

Fellow comedian Chris Rock was also among the performers for the Netflix is a Joke Fest at Hollywood Bowl. After the unidentified man attacked Chapelle, Rock took the opportunity to joke about actor Will Smith.

Chris Rock makes Will Smith joke after man attacks Chappelle

During one part of Chappelle’s set Tuesday, the popular comedian brought up the “slap heard round the world,” referring to when actor Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock at the Oscars. Rock was also performing at the Hollywood Bowl as part of the Netflix is a Joke festival on Tuesday. Following the Chappelle attack, he got onstage briefly to make a joke.

“Was that Will Smith?” Rock asked on the microphone, making one of his first public comments addressing the actor by name.

The attack comes over a month after the 2022 Oscars incident where Chris Rock was presenting an award onstage and made a joke about Will Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, being bald.

“G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see it,” Rock joked, receiving laughs from some of the audience, but not Pinkett Smith.

While Will Smith had originally been among those laughing at the joke, his reaction changed shortly after as he proceeded to walk up to the stage and slap Chris Rock.

Smith then returned to his seat and shouted at Chris Rock, “Leave my wife’s name out your f**king mouth!” several times.

The Oscars continued with Smith remaining at the venue and later accepting the Best Actor award onstage with a teary-eyed speech, apologizing to the Academy and others. A day later, he issued a statement online apologizing to Rock, among others.

Smith then resigned as a member of the Academy, which they accepted. In addition, the Academy revealed that Smith had been banned from attending their events for 10 years.

Rock hasn’t spoken much about Oscars slap

Chris Rock’s Will Smith joke was the first time he’s publicly mentioned Will in a joke since the Oscars incident. After the incident, Rock performed shows for his Ego Death World Tour, receiving several standing ovations from the crowd.

However, his set didn’t include new material about the incident. He told audience members he was still processing the event and, at one show, even said he wouldn’t be talking about it until he was “paid.”

Rock’s mother also echoed those sentiments about her son processing the incident but also had some comments about Will Smith during an interview she did.

“I have no idea what I would say other than, ‘What in the world were you thinking? Because you did a slap, but so many things could’ve happened from that. Chris could’ve stepped back and fallen. You really could’ve gotten taken out in handcuffs. You know, so, you didn’t think,'” Rose Rock said.

“You reacted to your wife giving you the side-eye, and you went and made her day because she was mulled over laughing when it happened,” she said.

While Chris Rock hasn’t mentioned Smith by name during his other comedy sets, he joked “got my hearing back” at one performance in the past several weeks, referring to the slap.

Rock’s friend and fellow comedian Pete Davidson also brought up the slap during his comedy set at Netflix is a Joke as he referred to his feud with Kanye West and Rock getting slapped.

“John Stewart, you’re next!” Davidson joked, referring to a photo from December 2021 featuring Stewart, Davidson, and Rock sitting together courtside at a Knicks game.

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