Doubtful that Dave Chappelle is winning a ton of new fans following years of erratic behavior. Although he was wise to develop a TV show that appealed to underemployed folks with recreational drug habits, even these people surely have started to understand that Chappelle's Show hasn't put out new episodes in five years.
Last month, the comedian was in South Florida for a charity gig at Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, and the crowd was reportedly so hostile that he had no choice but to stand onstage checking text messages instead of telling jokes. He later apologized for doing that but didn't really explain himself. Now, his attempt at an apology on a radio show makes him sound even nuttier.
Specifically blaming the Seminole Indians who were in the front row, Chappelle says he felt like the audience was trying to "get a reverse Kramer shot of me," in reference to ex-Seinfeld star Michael Richards' racist rant a few years ago.
From The Wrap:
"Someone said I melted down or I had a nervous breakdown," said Chappelle. "I wasn't nervous at all. The thing is, it was an Indian casino, and I felt that they were trying to get a reverse Kramer shot of me. In other words, I came out on stage and the YouTube extravaganza began -- everyone's pulling their camera phones out. And that's cool for the first couple of minutes. And then the whole front row starts heckling me, and apparently the whole front row was the Seminole Indians, whose casino it was, so security didn't want to tell them to be quiet.
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"Now, this obviously wasn't the whole audience -- there were thousands of people there. But in the front, I can see and hear everything. I was, like, OK, whatever. But at a certain point, you can't possibly expect me [to continue]. There's got to be a little bit of cooperation."
Now, the part he says about the heckling we can get down with, and even if the show is for charity, paying to hassle someone on stage is something that we'd expect only at the Gathering of the Juggalos. Calling it a "reverse Kramer" move is downright baffling, unless this is some sort of reference to the event's organizer, former NBA star Alonzo Mourning. A reverse of what Richards did would have been no racist rant at all. Anyhow, watch and decide.