One year ago, Dave Chappelle came up against one of the toughest crowds of his career in the rough-and-tumble town of Hartford, Connecticut. After being showered with a barrage of boos and heckles, Chappelle gave up performing and walked off stage, vowing to never return to the "evil" city filled with "young, white alcoholics." But a year is a long time, and Chappelle made a surprise return to Hartford last night to clear the air: “I did not think I would ever come back to Hartford,” Chappelle said to the enthusiastic crowd. “It was a year ago tonight, I had 364 nights to think about that fatal night, one year ago...I was really immature about what happened.” Watch his full 16 minute set below.
How exactly was he immature? "Right after I left, I’m sorry I did this, I made t-shirts that said 'Fuck Hartford,'" he continued. "I’m sorry I did that. And I hate to tell you that they were very good sellers. I got a lot of Internet orders, from Hartford, that was a surprise.” Although he claims he didn't prepare for this show, he (hilariously) recounts everything that happened after that fateful show.
Chappelle performed in Chicago the night after the Hartford incident, and said at the time: "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."
Chappelle apologized for that joke to the crowd around the five minute mark—but he didn't have to worry about that too much, since this crowd was completely on his side during the show, laughing heartily and never booing him. "Are you sure this is Hartford?" he says around the seven minute mark. "I swear to God I thought you were going to boo me the minute I came out,” Chappelle said. "Boy I wish you guys were here last year. This city is schizophrenic. It's like a whole new city from last year.
He ended the show with one last appeal: "Since that fateful night last year I’ve done 150 shows," he said. "All of them went well. And I say that to say this, in case the media’s watching: it was your fault...But thanks for not booing me when I came out."