A little rant but a lot of laughs…


If you’re a fan of the comedian Dave Chappelle, you may know that he is currently touring as the co-headliner act of the Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival. (If you’re not a fan, feel free to ignore this post.) On Thursday, August 29th in Hartford, Connecticut, an incident occurred where Chappelle was on stage and was heckled and booed by several inebriated audience members. Reports indicated that racial slurs were being used, which prompted Chappelle to stay on stage a total of 25 minutes before walking off and not returning. I heard about this incident on Friday, August 30th and was concerned because my friend (Codename: Candelabra) was driving in from Fort Wayne for the Saturday, August 31st performance. (Second row seats!) I was also confused by Chappelle’s behavior because I expected Chappelle, a professional comedian, to be used to hecklers enough to ignore them or have them escorted out, not him leaving and ruining the evenings of those who weren’t heckling and paid good money to see an entire set.

Knowing all this, I was curious to see how Chappelle would respond to the Hartford incident in his act. However, I was not prepared for the insane “diva-like” measures that were taken because of the Hartford incident. First, no photos were allowed prior to the show starting. This meant no photos of the empty stage during sound checks or selfies taken in your seats. Security wouldn’t even allow those seated to hold their cellphones in their hand. They had to be put away. We were instructed that if we needed to make a call or send a text, we would have to leave the seating area, go back to the vendor area, make the call/send the text, then come back to our seats.

There were signs posted that said “No cameras, cellphones, talking, heckling, etc.” But, because of the Hartford incident, the words “cellphones” and “heckling” were underlined. (On a side note: I also take issue with the “no talking” part. It’s not like we’re in class; we’re at a freakin’ comedy show.)

While waiting before the show and during the show, a security guard for the venue stood on the stage and would radio to one of the millions of security people swarming between the aisles to point out forbidden cellphones. Like “Section 104, eight rows up, 5 seats to the right: cellphone spotted”. Then one of the security people would run towards that person and tell them to put away their phone.

During the show, the same millions of security people were circling like sharks looking for lit up cellphones. A drunk, smelly lady next to me actually got some video of Dimitri Martin, and the security lady said, “Ma’am, I’m going to need you to delete the videos and any photos you just took.” As the lady fumbled to delete them, the head security person told the security lady, “Zero tolerance” and the security lady said, “Ma’am, you’re going to have to go.” And, the lady was kicked out of the show. They even escorted out a guy in the front row for sneaking a photo of Dave Chappelle.

Finally, there was a DJ playing songs in between sets, and right before Dave Chappelle came on, he made the annoucement, “Okay, everyone. Just a reminder. We’re all friends here, so no yelling or heckling. We’re all here to enjoy the show.” Really? A reminder from the DJ? Was this the level of hand-holding and coddling really necessary for Chappelle?

Now, I’ve been to many concerts at several venues, and I’ve heard the “no cellphones” and “no flash photography” warnings before. But, the measures taken during Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Tour on Saturday, August 31st seemed too kneejerk reactive and extreme due to the Hartford incident. I mean, we were at an amphitheatre; the smell of marijuana hung pretty heavy in the air, and security was more concerned about people taking selfies? Before the show?

Luckily, the entire show was pretty darn hilarious, which made the whole cellphone annoyance minor in comparison and the tickets completely worth the money spent. I love Kristin Schaal from “Bob’s Burgers”. Al Madrigal from The Daily Show was funny with his “SpongeTom pinata” bit. Native Chicagoan Hannibal Buress was just about as funny as Dave Chappelle calling the crowd “sort of Chicago”. Dimitri Martin was just as funny as on his Comedy Central show. I’d never seen “Flight of the Conchords” before, but after seeing them live, I’m ready to watch reruns of their HBO show. And, of course, I’m still quoting bits from Chappelle’s standup today.

BOTTOMLINE: If you can get tickets to the remaining festival stops, I highly recommend you do so. With a swiftness. You’ll laugh a lot, but don’t expect to take any photos of yourself, the stage, or any of the performers. If you can stand it, just leave your cellphone in the car.


29 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. NN
    Sep 10, 2013 @ 12:54:07

    Was I first?? There’s a new Prince song out that uses him on the album cover. Amazing.

  2. cecilia
    Sep 10, 2013 @ 13:36:55

    I hate hecklers.. they are usually idiots though what that had to do with cell phones I am not sure.. though I also HATE cell phones in performances too.. so rude… does sound like dreadful overkill, poor wee fella, he must be a fragile soul, glad the jokes were funny or you would have all dragged out your phones just for the excitement of being escorted OUT!! c

  3. TrafficDiva
    Sep 10, 2013 @ 16:40:37

    OHHHHH….Ok. That explains why you never sent me anything other than that 1 pic which I thought at the time was unusual. But it all makes sense now. HaHaHa!! You ALWAYS have crazy things happening to you when you go on your little adventures..LOL!!! Sounds like a good time had by all (well…all ‘cept that smelly dunk lady next to you) which is all that matters =)

  4. Monet
    Sep 10, 2013 @ 18:23:47

    Oh my! I haven’t seen live comedy in AGES. And I love Bob’s burgers too. Sounds like you had a great time!

  5. GiGi Eats Celebrities
    Sep 10, 2013 @ 20:12:40

    I HATE when they ban cellphones! I feel so naked without mine, I cannot handle it!!!

    But I am sure Dave was flipping HYSTERICAL!!!!! I love the man so much, I would love to just kick it at his mansion (I am sure) and….. shoot the shit? LOL!

  6. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen
    Sep 10, 2013 @ 20:53:07

    I wonder if they’re worried that stuff will be clipped and posted on vine, etc, especially anything that’s remotely unflattering? Maybe a wise career move in this day and age.. but it sounded like overkill for sure! So glad you had fun anyway!! xx

  7. Jessica
    Sep 10, 2013 @ 21:06:40

    That does seem a little much, but I love a good laugh!

    Jessica @ Sunny Days and Starry Nights

  8. cquek
    Sep 11, 2013 @ 03:52:21

    Stunning! sounds interesting.

  9. Gloria
    Sep 11, 2013 @ 04:48:07

    I don’t know him but many thanks for the discovery!!!
    I’m participating to the golden blog awards and it would help to have your vote!!!

  10. Tandy | Lavender and Lime
    Sep 11, 2013 @ 05:11:16

    I have no idea who you are talking about, but I read the post none the less – how pathetic. Last week I was stopped from taking a photo at my local store!

  11. Mary
    Sep 11, 2013 @ 06:15:56

    it all seems totally over managed and then things still go wrong!! how uncomfortable!!!
    Mary x

  12. Beth
    Sep 11, 2013 @ 06:49:59

    That is just bizarre. I’m glad it didn’t impact your enjoyment of the show.

  13. Edible Celebrations (@lavesta)
    Sep 11, 2013 @ 07:35:17

    I haven’t been to a live show of any kind in oh so long. I’m sure it has changed. Sounds like after a few “kinks”, you had fun! That’s good for YOU!

    Thanks for sharing, Yummy…

  14. The Squishy Monster
    Sep 11, 2013 @ 08:12:40

    I really like Chappelle and that’s a shame that it happened in the first place but yeah, you’d think he’d be accustomed to the environment by now. In my videos, I’ve have a couple people call me fat, lol. It’s what comes with the territory.

  15. I WIlkerson
    Sep 11, 2013 @ 12:54:49

    Sound like a good time. My husband would have been kicked out in seconds though–can’t keep that cell phone put away 😉

  16. Ameena
    Sep 11, 2013 @ 13:03:07

    That’s a whole lot of rules for something that’s supposed to be fun! But i’m glad that you had a good time and a few good laughs.

    LOL at I Wllerkerson’s comment..my husband is the same!

  17. Hotly Spiced
    Sep 11, 2013 @ 16:17:15

    Unbelievable. I would have felt quite uncomfortable in that theatre and these days it’s such a part of life that people turn to their phones regularly – for not just taking photos! I bet you were pleased they removed the smelly lady seated beside you xx

  18. Bam's Kitchen
    Sep 11, 2013 @ 19:03:47

    Sounds like the patrol were trying to zap the fun out of the show but they lost anyways. It almost sounds like every day nonsense here in HK. They are notorious for downloading illegal videos so they have to clamp down on the locals here.

  19. Three Well Beings
    Sep 11, 2013 @ 23:54:24

    I haven’t been to any shows with such strong reactions to phones and no talking? That does seem odd. But in the end you did have a great experience, and that’s all that matters!

  20. Cakelaw
    Sep 12, 2013 @ 02:39:56

    Extreme security, but I adore the Conchords – they are soooo clever and funny.

  21. Nilu A
    Sep 12, 2013 @ 03:25:40

    I too like Chappelle dear.. But never ever watched any live show before.. But this type of tight security is very strange.. Btw hope you had a good time 🙂

  22. Emma (fluff and fripperies)
    Sep 12, 2013 @ 05:11:15

    Glad you had a great night and his act was good but it sounds like serious overkill on the security measures!

  23. Maureen
    Sep 12, 2013 @ 10:57:20

    I agree that it’s a bit over the top. I’m glad you had a good time.

  24. Alex @ Cookie Dough Katzen
    Sep 12, 2013 @ 11:47:06

    Haha at least you still enjoyed the show 🙂

  25. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes
    Sep 12, 2013 @ 14:47:34

    Wow….just wow. I’m glad you were able to still enjoy your time!!!

  26. Jenn and Seth
    Sep 12, 2013 @ 21:42:00

    Glad the show ended up being good! I love Kristen Schaal and Flight of the Conchords so much!

  27. Tammy
    Sep 17, 2013 @ 10:20:03

    The phone thing is obnoxious! Even in my own family, I find myself getting upset with my parents for the way they use theirs.

  28. Mary @ Fit and Fed
    Sep 29, 2013 @ 18:51:04

    ‘No talking’ is really beyond the pale, and to try to restrict cell phones that much in this day and age is aggravating to all concerned. I’m glad the show made the hassle worth it to you.

  29. Johanna GGG
    Oct 06, 2013 @ 05:33:20

    wow that sounds extreme but it also sounds like the heckling must have been quite hurtful to make him react like that – what a shame – glad you enjoyed the show

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