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Dave Chappelle opened for Chris Rock and Kevin Hart during their surprise appearance at the Madison Square Garden stop of their “Only Headliners Allowed” tour in New York on Saturday night, days after his own show was canceled in Minnesota due to community backlash.
The 48-year-old comedian joined his friends on stage for what Hart called “the best moment of my career” as Chappelle was reportedly greeted with thunderous applause and stepped out to Radiohead’s “Karma Police”.
“Had to sneak in here,” Chappelle told the audience via TMZ, adding, “Despite what you may have read on the news, I’m fine and I appreciate the support.”
Less than a week ago, the comedian faced criticism again for booking a concert on Minneapolis’ famed First Avenue, only to have the venue cancel the show hours before Chappelle took the stage due to public opposition to transphobic jokes. , which he released in his Netflix special, Closer.
“I can’t even explain it… I can’t find the words… Just know that last night was the true definition of EPIC NIGHT,” Hart admitted on Twitter, sharing a few stills from a crowded Midtown Manhattan performance. .
“I love my brothers more than words can explain. What we did to the Garden will never happen again… We made history last night!!!!!!!!”
Ticket holders were equally thrilled to see their favorite legends on stage and tweeted their praise of the performances.
“Chris Rock, Kevin Hart and Dave Chappelle on the same stage at MSG were nothing short of legendary. I am honored to be a witness,” wrote @Callistusss.
COMEDIANS DEFEND DAVE CHAPELL AFTER CANCELLED MINNESOTA SHOW: ‘NO ONE SHOULD BE CENSORED’
Another fan was delighted to have witnessed the “comedy story” and compared the performance of outstanding comedians to that of the late Lakers, the great “Kobe dropped 80”. Bryant scored 81 points – his highest scoring game ever – against the Toronto Raptors on January 22, 2006 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
“Anyone who saw Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock and Kevin Hart last night at MSG is so lucky it’s hard to fathom,” Ben Gilbert tweeted. “It’s like going to the Kendrick and J. Cole show and you’re suddenly discovered by Drake.”
One supporter said the show “was epic!!! #MSG…the opening comic was….Dave Chappelle, are you serious!! Thank you… for an absolutely EPIC event.”
DAVE CHAPPELL SHOW CANCELED IN MINNESOTA ONE HOUR BEFORE CONCERT AFTER CRITICISM
Chappelle inadvertently made a splash earlier in the week after he was originally scheduled to perform Wednesday at First Avenue, but the show was moved to a smaller stage three miles from the University Theater following heated protests over its sixth special with Netflix, which was released on October. His appearance was announced on Monday, and tickets for the performance were sold out in minutes.
Comedian Flame Monroe, who is transgender, told Fox News Digital that free speech is paramount when it comes to protecting the “safest place” on Earth – the stage.
“When I grow up, I want to be just like him because the show must go on,” Monroe said. “I don’t want to be censored as a comedian. I say some ridiculous things on stage, it’s fun, it might make you think, but it also teaches you that I’m human.”
Laugh Factory owner Jamie Masada told Fox News Digital that “the comic scene is their sanctuary. We must defend the First Amendment. We cannot dilute it. We should be able to laugh at ourselves.”
Comedian Natalie Cuomo told Fox News Digital that “no one should be censored” and people should be able to speak freely, especially after they’ve already been invited to perform.
DAVE CHAPEL, ATTENDING POST-NETFLIX CONFERENCE, STATES HE IS NOT WORRIED ABOUT CANCELING: ‘I LOVE IT’
“The venue is already known,” she said. “It doesn’t look like he released anything new after he was ordered. It’s already been on Netflix. It was already available to the public. And this kind of last-minute cancellation of the show is completely unacceptable to me.”
Cuomo added: “It gives me more room to say what I believe in because it makes me want to go further in what I feel. I don’t think it’s okay to limit what people say. I think there should always be room for whatever your beliefs are. Nobody should be censored. I don’t think Dave Chappelle has ever encouraged violence in any capacity, and if anyone were to say that, that would be a gross exaggeration.”
FROM creative freedom at stakeDani Zoldan, owner of Sand Up New York, insists that people should be able to laugh when and how they want to.
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“People should become brighter and be who you want. Be straight, gay, transgender, non-binary. I wish everyone the best,” he said. “Everyone should be who they want to be. At the same time, you cannot tell people what they can and cannot say. If you don’t like what someone says, don’t support them. get on with your life. Take care of youself”.
In The Closer, Chappelle discussed the controversy surrounding gender identity and continued to defend his right to creative freedom despite strong backlash.
Chappelle released a new Netflix comedy special earlier this month centering on a speech he gave at his alma mater after they turned down their offer to rename the theater after him.
His lecture at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C. in November was the main theme of What’s in a Name, where he recalled how students reacted to offensive jokes made on “Closer” and how he had to defend his voice not only for its own sake, but also so that future generations can express their views.
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Larry Fink of Fox News contributed to this report.
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