Hartford, you're a tough crowd. But you don't deserve that.
Last week, comedian Dave Chappelle staged a strange protest at the Comcast Theatre in Hartford. The audience wouldn't quiet down enough for his liking. So after a couple of jokes, he stopped his act and ran the clock out onstage, smoking, reading from a fan's book and insulting the audience until his contractual 25 minutes were up.
Even angry, he was still funny, with lines like: "You guys have totally ruined my chances for running for Congress or something," and "When my three minutes is up, my ass is gone. I'm going straight to the bank and doing night deposit." Later he called the crowd "young white alcoholics."
OK, the crowd was rowdy. But hecklers happen, and Mr. Chappelle is famously thin-skinned: He abruptly quit his TV show in 2005, and he's walked off other stages.
If it's any consolation, he is not the first to be treated rudely by this state's sometimes bush-league audiences. Memorably, Rickie Lee Jones once yelled at the bar crowd at Toad's Place in New Haven to quiet down during her performance. "After a few walk-offs and returns, she screamed to the guys in the back of the bar to stop playing pool," wrote The Courant's Frank Rizzo. "But there is no pool table at Toad's."
This, however, isn't funny: Mr. Chappelle told a Chicago audience Tuesday that "if North Korea ever drops a nuclear bomb on this country, I swear to God I hope it lands in Hartford."
Truth is, on the Funny or Die Oddball Comedy Tour, he was funny in Hartford, but he did die. Fans here love him nonetheless. Nobody is happy he bombed.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun