While headlining a New Orleans comedy show, Dave Chappelle remarked: “In the middle of me being canceled, we broke the attendance record.”
More than 17,000 fans were in attendance as Chappelle, Joe Rogan, and other popular comedians took the stage. And while some of the comedians avoided the ongoing controversy surrounding Chappelle, whose Netflix special sparked protests among trans Netflix employees and allies, the headliner and Rogan did not shy away from the touchy subjects.
Chappelle’s representative recently said the comedian would not be making trans jokes “until we can all laugh together,” but during the show, according to NOLA.com’s Keith Spera, Chappelle declined a cup of beer from a patron and joked it may have “transgender formula” in it. Chappelle also said those who criticize and hate him the most “did something in their lives they can’t forgive themselves for.”
“I don’t know what anybody has done. I just know that everybody did something,” Chappelle said [h/t NOLA.com]. “Whatever you did, forgive yourself. Let it go. It’s easier than you think. I do it all the time.”
Rogan, who preceded Chappelle during the show, has been the subject of separate controversies in the past. As the host of one of the most popular podcasts in the world, Rogan has been accused of spreading disinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic. He defended himself by asking a rhetorical question: “If you’re getting your vaccine advice from me, is that really my fault?”
Rogan also joked about who and in what situations a person can say homophobic or racial slurs, saying “words have subtleties and different meanings.”
Despite the seemingly controversial subject matter from himself and his colleagues, Dave Chappelle closed the show encouraging Americans to “have the courage to be kind to one another.”