WASHINGTON — Comedian Dave Chappelle was attacked by a member of the audience during a stand-up set he was performing for a Netflix comedy festival at the Hollywood Bowl Tuesday night.
Security guards chased and overpowered the attacker, and Chappelle was able to continue his performance while the man was taken away in an ambulance.
The assailant was carrying a replica handgun with a knife blade inside, authorities said.
Chappelle was attacked as he was wrapping up a routine in which he talked about how comedians have to worry more about their personal security in the wake of this year's Academy Awards ceremony where Oscar-winning actor Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock on live television in reaction to a joke about Smith's wife.
“The comedian had literally just said he now has more security because of all the uproar from his jokes about the Trans community,” tweeted Buzzfeed News reporter Brianna Sacks, who attended the show. She tweeted that “while the attacker was getting beat up,” Chappelle "made a joke about him probably being a Trans man.”
Video from inside the Hollywood Bowl was limited because phones were confiscated prior to attendees getting to their seats. One video posted to Twitter shows a man slamming into another's torso while the victim spoke into a microphone. An audible pop can be heard from the mic as the hit connects.
Fans posted online that the attacker was removed by security shortly after — possibly with help from actor and comedian Jamie Foxx.
Deadline reported that Foxx apparently rushed onto the stage to help apprehend the man who slammed into Chappelle.
“The performances by Chappelle at the Hollywood Bowl were epic and record-breaking and he refuses to allow last night’s incident to overshadow the magic of this historic moment," Chapelle's publicist Carla Sims said in a statement. “As unfortunate and unsettling as the incident was, Chappelle went on with the show."
Isaiah Lee, 23, was detained and arrested for assault with a deadly weapon, said Officer Alba Mendez, a Los Angeles Police Department spokesperson. Mendez said a “famous comedian was performing” when Lee jumped onto the stage, tackled the celebrity and produced the replica handgun containing a knife blade. Mendez said the department did not name the celebrity because it does not confirm victim names.
"Whenever you’re in trouble, Jamie Foxx will show up in a sheriff’s hat,” Chappelle quipped after the struggle, according to video reviewed by Deadline.
“I thought that was part of the show,” Foxx can be heard responding.
Rock asked jokingly during his set afterward whether the attacker was Will Smith.
Lee was treated by medical staff for an unspecified injury and was booked into the Hollywood Division jail at 3:36 a.m. Wednesday and held in lieu of $30,000 bail, Mendez said. It was not immediately known if he had retained a lawyer.
A midday police statement recounted the incident but gave no indication of whether investigators had determined the motive for the attack.
“We care deeply about the safety of creators and we strongly defend the right of stand-up comedians to perform on stage without fear of violence,” a Netflix statement said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.