London’s O2 Arena was rocking Saturday evening as Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock continued their European stand-up tour, including new commentary on their assaults on stage. We were in the crowd.
Rock, who took the stage first, dedicated a small portion of his lengthy set to talking about Will Smith, during which he said, “f*ck your hostage video,” in an apparent response to the actor’s viral YouTube apology video. Smith posted the apology on YouTube in July. This is the first time Rock has directly addressed the video in public.
As in previous sets, the comedian noted the stinging effect of Smith’s slap: “Yes that sh*t hurt. He played Ali. I can’t even play Floyd Mayweather.”
Rock again referred to Will Smith as “Suge Smith” in reference to the former Death Row Records music executive Suge Knight who is currently serving a 28-year jail sentence for voluntary manslaughter. He then swiftly moved on to say that he’d been back at work the following day after the slap and he was not a victim before discussing an array of topics from Trump’s election to the dating habits of the Kardashian family.
Rock was followed by Chappelle, who referred to the moment in May he was attacked on stage in Los Angeles. Chappelle said that he was now wary of performing on stage because he can no longer tell whether the crowd will be hostile.
“That was some scary sh*t,” he reflected, before saying that Rock upstaged him that night by walking on stage and making a joke about Will Smith.
Chappelle later added that he doesn’t know what his response would have been if Smith slapped him onstage at the Oscars, but he’s certain that the actor would not have “enjoyed the rest of his night” at the awards show.
Chappelle walked on stage to Radiohead’s Karma Police and sounded off on a selection of controversial topics including the walkout Netflix employees staged last year following the release of his standup special The Closer on the streamer. Chappelle ended his set by imploring audience members to be themselves, unlike Smith who he claimed “did an impression of a perfect man for 30 years.”
“I just hope he doesn’t put that mask back on,” Chappelle added.
Rock and Chappelle continue their short tour of the UK and northern Europe before taking the show back to America at the end of September.