Chris Rock Cracks Will Smith Joke After Dave Chappelle Is Attacked On Stage

Chris Rock in Spiral: From the Book of Saw and Dave Chappelle in The Closer trailer, pictured side by side.
(Image credit: Lionsgate/Netflix)

Over a month after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock on the stage at the Oscars, you’d think that security would be tighter at live events and shows. Yet somehow there have continued to be incidents that see celebrities shocked in front of a live audience. The most recent attack on a live stage came during a stand-up set by comedian Dave Chappelle, and strangely enough Chris Rock was on hand to support his friend by cracking a Will Smith joke immediately after. 

Chris Rock’s Reaction To Someone Tackling Dave Chappelle

During a live show at the Hollywood Bowl, Chappelle was tackled by a man later identified by TMZ as Isaiah Lee. While the video shared by a fan on Instagram was taken from a distance, there’s obviously some sort of physical altercation between Chappelle and the other party. This is followed by said figure trying to flee off stage, and being pursued. After everything settled back to somewhat normalcy, Chris Rock then dropped the following one-liner:

Was that Will Smith?

While Rock still isn’t talking about the Will Smith incident at length, that hasn’t stopped him from playing that card for minor moments of comedy. Throughout his “Ego Death” tour, there have been acknowledgments of the scuffle, as well as jokes about his Oscar slap recovery. As far as his reaction to Dave Chappelle’s assault goes, this may be the most pointed reference to the night yet. That said, further details indicate an even scarier scenario could have taken place that night.

The Dave Chappelle Attack Could Have Been More Serious

In TMZ’s reporting, the attack on Dave Chappelle sounds even more horrifying. That’s because in their recounting of events, Isaiah Lee actually pulled a fake gun on the comedian, before violently tackling him to the stage. With a knife also attached to the prop, there was an actual weapon in play between Lee and Chappelle. The only injuries that took place were on Isaiah Lee’s behalf, as he was also attacked by “a swarm of people” that pursued him; which allegedly included Jamie Foxx and Busta Rhymes.

It’s still shocking that this type of incident has happened so soon after the Will Smith/Chris Rock debacle. Even crazier is the fact that just a week ago Olivia Wilde was served custody papers by a random party during a live CinemaCon presentation. While security at live events in the entertainment industry are certainly going to be undergoing some changes, moments like this will only continue to highlight why such changes are needed.

Just as Chris Rock has used his new found notoriety to pepper bits into his act, Dave Chappelle will undoubtedly be talking about this incident at some point. While still a controversial figure in the world of comedy, Chappelle’s tradition of speaking his mind is something that hasn’t dimmed. In the meantime, we’ll all be keeping our ears out for updates on how, and why, this assault took place during a major public gathering.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.