Dave Chappelle didn’t even make it to center stage at First Niagara Pavilion in Pittsburgh before the rafters literally shook with the reverberation of the thunderous applause the comedian received as he prepared for his set.

A day after he was booed in Hartford, Chappelle was welcomed with cheers and multiple standing ovations for his Aug. 30 show, part of the Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival.

Chappelle, 40, thanked the Pittsburgh crowd for their gracious welcome and spent part of the show joking about his experience in Hartford, when he stopped performing after he was harassed by hecklers using profanity and demanding that he tell certain jokes.

“I will never perform in Hartford again,”Chappelle told the audience in Pittsburgh to loud applause and cheers.

The Pittsburgh performance was the third of 15 performances scheduled in the month-long tour, which is scheduled to conclude on September 22. Also performing was the New Zealand-based musical duo Flight of the Conchords.

Chappelle is no stranger to controversy. In 2005 he walked away from a $50 million dollar contract with Comedy Central’s highly acclaimed Chappelle Show during its third year of production and retreated from the spotlight until now. The tour marks Chappelle’s official comeback.

Onstage Aug. 30, it was as if Chappelle had never left. In his comedic storytelling style, he kept the audience members in stitches sharing hilarious sharing personal stories about marriage, raising children and wacky celebrities. He also poked fun at various current events. The act included a surprise birthday celebration for Chappelle’s wife, Elaine, who came on stage with the couple’s three children, where he serenaded her with his rendition of “Happy Birthday” as thousands in the audience joined in.


Ariel Medley

AFRO Staff Writers