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Celebrity comic, Dave Chappelle, heckled at Tennessee Theatre | News

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Celebrity comic, Dave Chappelle, heckled at Tennessee Theatre

A number of people are expressing their disappointment after disruptive audience members interrupted recent performances in Knoxville by celebrity comic Dave Chappelle.

The former Comedy Central star performed two shows at the Tennessee Theater on Tuesday night.

Jim McDaniel saw the second show and said many people were drunk, using cellphones, and yelling out old bits they wanted to hear Chappelle perform.

At Side Splitters Comedy Club, Spanky Brown is performing for three nights.

Brown opened for Chappelle and said several people had to be escorted out of the theatre. Brown also mentioned that audience members at the second show were more disruptive than the first, heckling Chappelle to the point where he stopped doing his planned material.

"At one point he said, 'I've been here for an hour and I've done 10 minutes of material.' So I paid to see Dave Chappelle; I didn't really pay to hear the drunk guy four rows behind me talk about what he thinks is funny," McDaniel said.

Brown went on to say, "Knoxville is undeserving of that. Here at the Comedy Club in town, they always come out to laugh and I brag about Knoxville having such good comedy crowds."

For those who book talent for shows in Knoxville, it is concerning.

"We've been trying to attract a lot of big names here and the last thing we want is those big names telling each other, 'Hey, don't even waste your time,'" said Bridgette Martin, managing partner for Side Splitters Comedy Club.

McDaniel went on to say, "How many of them are just going to cross Knoxville off their list because a few people had to ruin a show for everybody?"

The Tennessee Theatre issued a statement that said, "We at the Tennessee Theatre are happy to have hosted Dave Chappelle in Knoxville. We feel our staff handled audience issues to the best of our ability and always strive to exhibit professionalism during any event or performance at the Theatre."


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