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Local comedian reacts to attack of Dave Chappelle during LA show

We caught up western Massachusetts native Marty Caproni on Zoom as he is in the middle of a national comedy tour.
Published: May. 4, 2022 at 3:05 PM EDT|Updated: May. 4, 2022 at 5:57 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Comedian Dave Chappelle was attacked on stage in Los Angeles Tuesday night and it comes just over a month after actor Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars.

We caught up western Massachusetts native Marty Caproni on Zoom as he is in the middle of a national comedy tour. He, like many other comedians, is concerned about what happened on stage last night.

“I’m hoping that this isn’t more of a disturbing trend that we’re going to see ever since the Oscars stuff with Will Smith,” Caproni said.

Social media is buzzing after a video from Tuesday night went viral showing a man rushing the stage at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles and tackling comedian Dave Chappelle who was performing.

“David’s, probably if not the greatest, one of the greatest comedians of our time of our generation, so obviously, I’m just happy that he’s okay,” Caproni added.

Los Angeles Police said the man who attacked Chappelle was armed with a replica handgun. The incident comes just one month after the infamous Oscars slap involving Will Smith striking comedian and actor Chris Rock across the face. Rock was also at the festival on Tuesday and performed earlier that evening. He later jokingly asked if Will Smith was there.

We asked Caproni what security measures are typically in place at these types of onstage events, especially following these two violent encounters.

“People charging the stage is always something that happens in comedy. It’s happened in comedy clubs, which are generally well-secured environments, but stuff like last night and the Oscars, those are large venues, so that’s a different security parameter,” Caproni explained.

Caproni told Western Mass news it is easier to have a faster security response in smaller comedy venues, but it is more difficult for larger events like the one Chappelle performed at on Tuesday night.

“200 seat or 300 seat comedy club is going to have a much easier time dispatching someone trying to charge the stage then somebody charging the stage at an event that’s got hundreds of moving pieces,” Caproni noted.

Caproni hopes incidents like these don’t keep people from going to comedy shows down the line.

“Everyone has a camera now, so everyone captures something like this puts it online…I would like to remind everyone else at home coming out to laugh on a night, you know Friday or Saturday night, coming out to laugh with family or friends is a great experience and you shouldn’t let anything like this ever deter you from,” Caproni said.

The man who allegedly attacked Chappelle has been arrested and police officials said that Chappelle was not seriously hurt.