Comedian John Mulaney surprised his audienceand drew criticism from some fanswhen Dave Chappelle appeared as the opener and reportedly told "transphobic jokes," per Variety.
Chappelle's opening set occurred during a show at Ohio State University's Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Although there is no footage from the event (as attendees were required to lock their phones before it), several audience members took to social media after the show to criticize it.
According to attendees, Chappelle appeared as a surprise opener, and told jokes targeting the transgender community. Mulaney reportedly came onstage and hugged Chappelle at the conclusion of the opening set.
One Twitter userwith the handle rae (spookiest version)posted, "y'all ever hear ~12,000 people laugh at a transphobic joke, while you're a trans person in the audience who didn't know the transphobic comedian would make a surprise appearance at the John Mulaney show? yeah. wasn't fun. fuck you D.C."
Anti-trans jokes have been a recent hallmark of Chappelle's stand-up. The comedian first drew controversy for transphobic jokes in Netflix specials such as 2019's Sticks and Stones and the 2021 special The Closerwith the latter getting blowback from pro-LGBTQ+ groups and some Netflix employees.
In another Chappelle-related development, Isaiah Lee, who attacked him during a recent Netflix event, said he was "triggered" by the comedian's jokes about the LGBTQ community and homelessnessas he insisted he never wanted to harm the comedian, The New York Post reported.
Lee, who identifies as bisexual, told The Post that Chappelle should be more "sensitive" when it comes to the jokes he cracks.
The 23-year-old added that his breaking point came when another comedian in the show's lineup make a crude joke about pedophiliawhich Lee said dredged up memories of his own molestation as a teen. Lee is currently facing four misdemeanor counts, including battery and possessing a deadly weapon with intent to assault.