Kevin Hart stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live this past week on the heels of comedian Dave Chappelle getting attacked onstage during his performance at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, California.
The incident quickly took over headlines, with many celebrities reacting to the attack and its aftermath. Among them was hip-hop artist 50 Cent, who shared images of the attacker after he’d been beaten up by security and others coming to protect Chappelle.
Hart said he believes the Chappelle incident was something that “needed to happen.” However, he wasn’t referring to Chappelle getting attacked, but instead the handling of the attacker.
Kevin Hart explains why Hollywood Bowl incident ‘needed to happen’
A recent episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live featured comedian Mike Birbiglia filling in as the show’s guest host after it was revealed Jimmy Kimmell had tested positive for COVID-19. One of his guests was Kevin Hart, whom Birbiglia mentioned he started with on the comedy scene around the same time.
Naturally, the topic of Dave Chappelle getting attacked at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles this past week came up, with Birbiglia calling the incident “scary.” However, Hart had a different take on things.
“Not scary…Somebody ran on stage and got they a** whooped,” Hart said, adding, “It’s one of those things that needed to happen, though.”
That brought a bit of playful arguing between Hart and the host, who said “No” he didn’t think it was something that needed to happen.
“What do you mean Yes?!” a surprised Birbiglia asked Hart.
“Mike, do you want people to continue to think that they can cross that line and break the barrier of entertainer and [audience member]?” Hart asked.
“Oh no, we’re on the same side of this,” the guest host agreed, saying there was some “momentary confusion” on his part with what Hart said.
“Somebody getting they a** whipped sends a message out to other people that was like, ‘You know I was thinking about doing that, but after seeing that, I don’t really wanna do that,'” Hart said.
Hart went on to say, “there’s a lot of lines that have gotten blurred” these days, saying, “Sometimes you gotta take a couple steps backwards to take some steps forward.”
Hart also mentioned that the incident was overshadowing a bigger moment for Dave Chappelle, praising him for how many tickets were sold, and for Chappelle acting like a professional after the incident by moving on quickly with the show.
“Ultimately, you know these moments of [unprofessionalism], should not break professionals,” Hart said, adding, “I think it’s time to get back to a place of respect for your entertainer.”
Chappelle’s attacker taken away in an ambulance after attack
Earlier this week, the incident at Hollywood Bowl happened during comedian Dave Chappelle’s set at the Netflix is a Joke Fest. At one point, an unidentified man rushed onto the stage and tackled Chappelle. After a brief skirmish, the man ran away and hid behind a large screen on stage.
Security quickly got on stage and surrounded the attacker before subduing him. Chappelle went over to that area, possibly assisting in them subduing and restraining the man as he returned to tell the audience he “stomped” him.
Later, photos surfaced online of the attacker’s condition, showing he was handcuffed to a stretcher and wheelchair and suffered a broken arm and various bruises to his face.
It was also revealed that the man had brought a replica gun with a knife attached to it bayonet-style, which he managed to get past security and metal detectors due to the venue’s setup. The New York Post reported that security for the venue was getting beefed up following the attack.
The incident at Hollywood Bowl was the latest to feature a comedian getting attacked onstage. Many viewers saw Oscars presenter Chris Rock get slapped on stage by actor Will Smith this past March, following Rock’s joke about Will’s wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith. Will Smith remained in the venue following the incident and accepted the award for Best Actor later in the evening.
He eventually apologized to Rock and resigned from the Academy. In addition, the Academy revealed Smith had been banned from their events for 10 years due to the incident.
Following the attack at Hollywood Bowl, comedian Howie Mandel reacted to the series of onstage incidents involving Chappelle and Rock, calling it the “beginning of the end of comedy.”