Dave Chappelle’s first joke after on-stage attack: ‘That was a trans man’


The tackle was apparently not the only cheap shot that night.

Comedian Dave Chapelle has found himself in hot water with LGBTQ+ critics yet again after joking that it was a “trans man” who attacked him on stage during the now-viral assault Wednesday.

The 48-year-old “Chappelle’s Show” creator had been performing at the “Netflix is a Joke” festival in Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl, when an unnamed spectator bum-rushed the stage and tackled the comedian to the ground, as seen in shocking footage. The assailant —  Isaiah Lee, 23, of Los Angeles — was subsequently removed from the venue by security, whereupon he was arrested by the LAPD and taken to a local hospital for minor injuries. It was later revealed that Lee has been booked for felony assault with a deadly weapon.

Officer Lizeth Lomeli, a spokesperson for the LAPD, confirmed to The Post that the suspect was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and the suspect, whose name will not be released until he is discharged from the local hospital, was carrying a replica handgun that had a blade inside.

However, following the kerfuffle, a video emerged of Chappelle leaning into the microphone and quipping “that was a trans man.” He was presumably referencing his ongoing feud with the LGBTQ community over a series of remarks and jokes that many deemed transphobic.

Comedian Dave Chapelle sparked outrage online after joking that it was a “trans man” who attacked him on stage at the Hollywood Bowl.
Twitter / Jed Simon ; THEODORE N
Dave Chappelle’s assailant getting detained.
DALE EARNHARD via REUTERS

While the line garnered guffaws from the audience, it didn’t sit well with some online critics, who accused the funnyman of taking a cheap shot.

“All these people leave out the fact Dave Chappelle joked that it was a ‘trans man’ that ran on stage to beat him when we don’t know who it was,” fumed one incensed commenter on Twitter. “All we know is that things are about to get worse in this country and have been getting worse for trans people and Dave encourages it.”

Another wrote, “Dave Chappelle gets attacked on stage and the first thing he do is mention trans people. That man is obsessed.”

“Dave Chappelle targets trans people with punch-down jokes,” wrote one detractor. “An unidentified man tackles Chappelle. While the crowd celebrates the beat down of his attacker by security guards, Chappelle turns the communal celebration of violence to focus not on free speech but trans identity.”

One LGBTQ defender commented, “Dave Chappelle got attacked on stage last night and decided that was the perfect opportunity to make a trans joke. What an absolute garbage human being.”

However, many commenters rallied around Chappelle with some defenders accusing the LGBTQ community of taking his joke more seriously than the assault.

“DAVE CHAPPELLE WAS ATTACKED,” wrote one fired-up Chappelle supporter. “It is NOT ABOUT TRANS PEOPLE! Give it a rest. Do you even f–kin hear yourself? This man tackled him with a knife AND a gun but you’re worried about a bad joke? I see…”

“Go figure Dave Chappelle gets attacked on stage and the LGBTQ+ community makes it all about them,” lamented another. “The man tells joke. People laugh and then go back to the doom n gloom ppl like you keep shoving down our collective throats like we have to care for your feelings. No we don’t.”

“I don’t wanna hear any ‘Dave Chappelle is anti-trans’ nonsense. Tonight he helped transition a man to a pretzel,” quipped one Twitter wit in reference to a graphic video of the assailant sporting a mangled elbow following his run-in with security.

The assailant is whisked away on a stretcher after the attack.
THEODORE NWAJEI via REUTERS

This isn’t the first time Chappelle has been in hot water with the trans community of late. In October, LGBTQ advocates implored Netflix to remove the “Half Baked” star’s latest special, “The Closer,” from their catalog because it featured incendiary jokes about transgender women.

Chappelle, 48, was specifically accused of defending what many perceived to be problematic comments by rapper DaBaby and “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling, as well as deflecting criticism he faced for cracking wise about the trans community in previous specials “Equanimity” and “Sticks & Stones.”

In “The Closer,” Chappelle declares that he’s joining Rowling in “Team TERF!” (the acronym for trans-exclusionary radical feminist), and conflated rapper DaBaby’s homophobic statements at a show over the summer with systemic racism. As of yet, the special is still available on Netflix.

Dave Chappelle attends the Opening Night Party presented by NETFLIX IS A JOKE at W Hollywood on April 28, 2022 in Hollywood, California.
Getty Images for Netflix

Despite the inflammatory remarks, comic claimed in the special that he harbors no “hate” for the LGBTQ community.

“Oh, I’m jealous. I’m not the only black person that feels this way. We look at the gay community, we go, ‘Goddamn it — look at how well that movement is going! Look at how well you are doing.’” the comedian said. “And we’ve been trapped in this predicament for hundreds of years. How the f–k are you making that kind of progress?”

Image taken just before comedian Dave Chappelle was attacked on stage during stand-up Netflix show at the Hollywood Bowl, in Los Angeles, U.S., May 3, 2022.
Twitter / Jed Simon
LGBTQ activists protest Netflix’s decision to release Dave Chappelle’s latest Netflix special, “The Closer” which contains a litany of perceived transphobic material.
Los Angeles Times via Getty Imag