HARTFORD, Conn. — Hartford’s mayor said Thursday comedian Dave Chappelle should “quit whining” about being heckled.
Chappelle walked off a stage last week after being heckled in the state capital. Audio posted on TMZ.com shows Chappelle praised an audience in Chicago on Tuesday for being “so much better than Hartford.”
“I don’t want anything bad to happen to the United States,” Chappelle said. “But if North Korea ever drops a nuclear bomb on this country, I swear to God I hope it lands in Hartford, Connecticut.”
Chappelle was the headliner Aug. 29 in Hartford at the Funny or Die Presents The Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival, which is touring the country and features Flight of the Conchords and several other comedians.
Fans said Chappelle came out and told a few jokes but stopped because of the heckling. Video posted online shows Chappelle over the next 25 or so minutes sitting on a stool on stage responding to the hecklers, joking about the situation and even reading the first few sentences of an audience member’s book.
Chappelle was booed as he walked off the stage of the Comcast Theatre, and some fans demanded their money back.
On Tuesday, Chappelle told the fans in Chicago, to cheers and laughter, he would never again stop in Hartford, not even for gas.
Mayor Pedro Segarra called Chappelle’s remarks “immature and inappropriate.”
“Dave Chappelle should stick to his job, give the fans what they paid for and not disparage the good people of Hartford,” Segarra said in a statement.
He also sent a Tweet saying Chappelle should “quit whining, do his job and try some yoga.”
It’s not the first time Chappelle has stopped performing his routine because of an unruly crowd. In Florida in 2011, he stopped performing at a charity event, checking his text messages and counting down the minutes on stage. He told a radio interviewer that in a performance in Oakland, Calif., he spent 10 minutes lying on the stage.
Chappelle has been making his most substantial return to stand-up comedy with the Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival since famously walking away from his hit Comedy Central series, “Chappelle’s Show,” and a $50 million deal in 2005. He took respite in South Africa for a time and largely dropped off the comedy circuit.