Last week, Dave Chappelle tussled with the rough-and-tumble crowds of Hartford, Connecticut during a stop on Funny or Die’s Oddball Comedy Festival tour. Chappelle complained about people booing and talking during the set; he eventually gave up on performing and just sat on a stool smoking cigarettes and making small talk. At a stop in Chicago this week, he opened his set by explaining how much he hated that Hartford "arena full of suburban torturers:" "I don't want anything bad to happen to the United States," Chappelle said, "but if North Korea ever drops a nuclear bomb on this country, I swear to God I hope it lands in Hartford, Connecticut."
Seriously, Chappelle couldn't come up with enough ways to describe his rancor for the Hartford crowd: he called them "evil" and a bunch of "young, white alcoholics." At one point, he criticized them for feeling "lucky they got to see me freak out." He compared it to people seeing a Siegfried and Roy show: "The shit's like being at the tiger show the night Siegfried and Roy got their throats ripped out by the tiger. It's fucked up, but I know deep down that's why you go to the tiger show...In the back of your mind, 'This motherfucker might get bit. I'd see that for $35.'"
He also said it took all his self-control not to call the crowd a bunch of "crackers," but he didn't want to end up like Michael Richards, whose career was ruined after he called hecklers the n-word during a comedy set in the mid-'00s.
I wanted to pull a reverse Kramer and call 'em all crackers or something crazy like that. I know that shit'll be on YouTube. 'Funnyman Dave Chappelle calls a room full of white people crackers.' Couldn't do that. I felt bad when Kramer did that shit to us. I did. I was a fucking Seinfeld fan till the end, but when he did that shit i was like Kramer, that's fucked up. You lost me baby. That was the black in me. The comedian in me was like, 'Woof. He's having a tough set. Hang in there Kramer. Don't let them break you!'