"I'm Dave Chapelle, bitch!"

by Brian McKim & Traci Skene on June 28th, 2004

From the Sacramento Bee (by way of Tommy James):

Dave Chappelle got so angry with the crowd Tuesday night at Sacramento’s Memorial Auditorium that the stand-up comic walked off the stage for nearly two minutes. Upon his return, he told the audience, “You people are stupid.”

What got the comic so riled up? According to Chappelle, it was audience members who wouldn’t “shut up and listen – like you’re supposed to.”

Chappelle is the creator and star of the No. 1-rated show on Comedy Central. It’s that fame that helped the comic sell out the nearly 4,000-seat Memorial Auditorium weeks in advance of the show. And that popularity also caused the frustration for the performer, as audience members continually shouted a character’s catchphrase from “Chappelle’s Show” – it starts, “I’m Rick James …” and ends with the b-word.

“The show is ruining my life,” Chappelle told the crowd. Besides requiring him to work “20 hours a day,” he said, it has made him a “star,” which has resulted in the inability of fans to treat him as an individual.

“This (stand-up) is the most important thing I do, and because I’m on TV, you make it hard for me to do it,” he said.

“People can’t distinguish between what’s real and fake. This ain’t a TV show. You’re not watching Comedy Central. I’m real up here talking.”

Read the whole thing here.