These Firsthand Accounts Illustrate Just How Disastrous Dave Chappelle’s Detroit Show Was

Senior Editor
04.27.15 20 Comments
Dave Chappelle

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“I don’t know what you want me to talk about, I have no material.” — Dave Chappelle

Last Thursday at the Fillmore Theatre in Detroit, Dave Chappelle performed a stand-up routine that was, by most accounts, horrible. TMZ’s video from the show provides a brief glimpse into the unmitigated disaster.

The show was supposed to start at around 9:30 p.m., but the line to get in stretched around the block. As a result, the opening act did not take the stage until 10:30 p.m. Another 15 minutes passed in between sets before Chappelle finally came stumbling out. He appeared to be somewhat drunk, slurring his speech and ordering drinks from a waitress in the crowd.

We spoke with three people who were there that night and corroborated many of the details floating around. Some of them are beyond ridiculous.

Andrew Kasper, 28, of Royal Oak, Michigan:

– “He told a girl in the audience he wanted to f*ck her tonight, more than once.”
– “Was laughing at all his own jokes, was extremely slap happy.”
– “At one point, someone threw a blunt and lighter on stage to which Dave replied that he would ‘save for later.'”
– “He lost the crowd when he started to field questions.”


Mona Habib, 35, of Grosse Pointe, Michigan:

– “Someone definitely threw a blunt on stage and security took it away.”
– “He told the audience several times that he had ‘no material.'”
– “He was horrible. He just kept smoking cigarettes.”
– “He could barely stand.”
–  “A friend of hers said, ‘I’d rather go see Disney on Ice than him ever again. And I hated Disney on Ice.'”
– “He was very cocky and kept mentioning a banana incident in Mexico.”

Chad Haurani, 35, of Grosse Pointe, Michigan:

– “You could tell right off the bat he was wasted.”
– “He told a joke, and an hour later, told the same exact one. He didn’t even realize it, and it wasn’t funny.”
– “The place was half-empty by 12:30 a.m.”
– “It was like watching your drunk friend out there. It was hilarious at first, but then you’re like, ‘What on Earth is happening?'”
– “He kept saying, ‘I don’t know what you want me to talk about, I have no material.'”
– “Event staff were kicking out people who were screaming (heckling).”

To be fair, we spoke to several people who attended the earlier show that night, as well as the show on Friday, who said that Dave was as funny as ever. Perhaps it was just a bad show for the comedian. In the wake of criticism, Chappelle’s rep released a statement to TMZ:

“Out of the 50 shows on the tour, Thursday was definitely not his best set. On the flip side, the incident inspired some additional sharp-witted material, and (Friday) he came back with a vengeance.”

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