John Mulaney invited a famous comedian to open for his show in Ohio on Friday — but not everybody was laughing.
The 39-year-old stand-up superstar and former “Saturday Night Life” writer was at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus to perform his “From Scratch” comedy tour. Before he began entertaining the crowd, however, Dave Chappelle walked onto the stage to perform a guest warm-up set.
Chappelle, who has for long used transphobic material as a key part of his comedic arsenal, did not depart from his usual, offensive humor, according to some fans who shared the experience on social media.
At the end of the set, Mulaney reportedly came onto the stage and hugged the proudly transphobic funny man.
There’s no known footage of the evening, since the event, which was billed as a “phone-free experience,” required attendees to secure their phones in special pouches that were only opened at the end of the show.
However, shortly after the show ended, some attendees were quick to share the less-than-pleasant experience they had to endure, after paying for tickets and hoping to have a night of fun and laughter.
“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,” a Twitter user named @raegan_givant wrote.
Another user, @boobeoisie, noted that Chappelle “made not only a transphobic joke but a homophobic one.”
One other person who attended the show, Rylan, who identifies as a genderqueer gentleman, tweeted in an obviously sarcastic tone that his “favorite part of tonight was when dave chappelle ambushed us at the john mulaney show, told a bunch of transphobic jokes, a massive stadium of people laughed, and then john mulaney hugged him at the end.”
A follow-up tweet adds that “i just had to sit there joke after joke about trans people and hear 18k people laughing along.”
On Saturday afternoon, Rylan wrote another tweet to say “thank you so much” for the many notifications he received, most of which were messages of support. “But if (you’re)e of the people who sent me a death threat, go f--k yourself,” he added.
Last year, Chappelle’s Netflix comedy special “The Closer” sparked social media fury for his anti-trans rhetoric. It also led to employee walkouts, firings and resignations, and even an “I screwed up” admission by CEO Ted Sarandos.
The 48-year-old remained unapologetic about his anti-trans material.
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