Dave Chappelle opens for Chris Rock and Kevin Hart in NYC just days after Minneapolis venue canceled his sold-out set hours before showtime over his trans jokes
Dave Chappelle took the stage at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Saturday night for a surprise set.
The 48-year-old standup comic opened for pals Chris Rock, 57, and Kevin Hart, 43, for what Hart called an ‘epic night.’
It comes after the controversial entertainer’s recent Minneapolis show was canceled due to protests at the city’s First Avenue theater.
Unexpected performance: Dave Chappelle took the stage at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Saturday night for a surprise set
TMZ reported that the seasoned comic walked out on stage to the tune of Radiohead’s Karma Police.
Chappelle puffed on a cigarette as he opened for the audience without so much as an introduction.
The outlet noted that the funnyman indirectly referenced his booted Minnesota set as he joked, ‘Had to sneak my way in here.’
He reassured fans that ‘despite what you may have read about in the news, I’m okay, and I appreciate the support.’
Memorable: The 48-year-old standup comic opened for pals Chris Rock and Kevin Hart for what Hart called an ‘epic night’
Kevin dropped in on social media on Sunday to reflect on the show and share a trio of photos.
Engaging his 150 million Instagram followers he wrote, ‘Last night was by far the best moment of my career.’
He gushed, ‘I can’t even explain it…I can’t find the words…Just know that last night was the true definition of an “EPIC NIGHT”.’
The comedian praised his friends and colleagues as he added, ‘I love my brothers more than words can explain. What we did to the Garden will never be done again.’
He then declared, ‘We made history last night!!!!!!!!’ before adding hashtags, ‘#ComedicRockStarSh*t #RockHartChappelle.’
New post: Kevin dropped in on social media on Sunday to reflect on the show and share a trio of photos
Days earlier Dave was scheduled to perform at Minneapolis’ First Avenue venue.
The performance space nixed the show hours before he was supposed to appear, bowing to the demands of MnUprising, an activist group.
The collective labeled Chappelle a transphobe and complained that the entertainer ‘harmed’ them with his ‘transphobic views.’
It was enough to persuade the historic establishment to ditch the event, despite having sold 1,500 tickets at $129.50.
Remaining shows in the city were transferred to the Varsity Theater, as noted in a statement from First Avenue.
Backlash: It comes after the controversial entertainer’s recent Minneapolis show was canceled due to protests at the city’s First Avenue theater
When he eventually took the stage at the new location, the iconic performer doubled down on his previous statements about the transgender community.
‘Comedy is just comedy,’ Chappelle said when he took the stage to cheers, also noting that 50 years ago, George Carlin was arrested for performing his ‘seven words you can’t say on television’ routine.
As he finished his routine, Chappelle urged his fans to greet animosity with love. And despite the small number of protesters who petitioned the show, fans walked away smiling.
Chapelle earned his 12th Emmy nomination for Netflix’s The Closer, which came out in October and provoked backlash for its transgender jokes.
Obliged: The performance space nixed the show hours before Dave was supposed to appear, bowing to the demands of MnUprising, an activist group