John Mulaney surprises disgruntled fans with Dave Chappelle’s performance

John Mulaney surprises disgruntled fans with Dave Chappelle’s performance

Left: John Mulaney (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images), Right: Dave Chappelle (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

Left: John Mulaney (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images), Right: Dave Chappelle (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

Comedian John Mulaney came under fire over the weekend, after reporting that he surprised the audience at a show in Ohio last night with an appearance by a local resident Dave Chappelle, who started doing some of his trademark late-era comedy — that is, transphobic jokes — for a crowd of people who thought they were just there to see the guy on the posters.

There is no footage from Chappelle on the Mulaney show – it was one of those comedy shows where they make you put your phone in a little bag or somethingwe come together, but Variety has a collection of tweets of people clearly unhappy than Mulaney decided to “treat” them a few minutes from the last c of the beleaguered stand-upremark. (TMZ Remarks that Chappelle apparently referred to the strange weapon wielded by his attacker in Hollywood Bowl a few weeks agojoking that it was “a weapon identified as a knife”.)

At a bare minimum, the argument is understandable, no one bought tickets for a John Mulaney’s show expected to deal with Chappelle, or hear God knows how many people laughed at and applaud a guy who has made several statements attacking their basic rights and identity over the past few years. (Or to see Mulaney give him a hug after filming, as he would have done.) There is also a general sense of frustration that Mulaney, generally seen as politically inert at worst, would lend his reputation and platform to Chappelle in this way.

Chappelle has, after all, been at the center of a tumultuous controversy over his stance on trans rights and trans people for years now, who reached a peak with his Netflix 2021 special The closestin which he doubled down on his statements that, for example, trans women are not “real” women. Despite widespread anger inside and outside the company, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos is out hard in favor of Chappelle’s divine right to be paid several million dollars to have his transphobic views presented to millions of people, a position that is somehow qualified as “free speech”. (Netflix recently released an update statement of company valuestelling his workers,If you’re struggling to support the breadth of our content, Netflix might not be the best place for you. “)

By Variety, neither Mulaney nor Chappelle responded to requests for comment. A few other comics did, however; particularly, Tim Heidecker posted a note to his fans todayindicating that “I promise not to have any weird anti-trans surprise guests on my summer tour.

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