Bad news, stand-up fans: Dave Chappelle has cancelled his upcoming shows in Austin, Texas due to a positive COVID test. Fellow comedian and podcaster Joe Rogan was scheduled to share the stage with Chappelle on two nights before news of the cancellation started circulating. “Dave Chappelle and Friends,” a presumably stacked line-up of comedians that was slated to take up three nights, was also cancelled. There was no official word on who was planning to attend.
According to Deadline, Dave Chappelle’s rep confirmed TMZ’s initial report on Thursday evening, saying that his client, who is currently asymptomatic, is quarantining. Prior to testing positive, the popular comedian was adhering to CDC guidelines as best as he could while still holding live, socially-distanced shows in Ohio. He eventually moved the events to Austin, where he held regular performances up until Wednesday night. The event’s sponsor, Live Nation, is of course offering full refunds for ticket-holders. That’s good, because tickets for four-person tables ran buyers about $1,400.
On Thursday night, Rogan posted about it on social media, further confirming the news and assuring fans that he was still testing negative every day. He also made sure to point out that Dave Chappelle did not contract the virus from Elon Musk’s partner, Grimes. This was in response to a photo of a maskless Dave Chappelle posing with Musk, Grimes, and Rogan that made the rounds on Instagram. Earlier this month, Grimes had discussed testing positive for the virus, sending anyone who viewed the aforementioned photo into a finger-pointing frenzy. You can check out the photo here.
If Dave Chappelle’s rep is to be believed, none of this happened from a lack of care, either. Chappelle required rapid testing at each of his shows. He also tested himself and those in close personal contact with him every day. He has taken the virus very seriously, and his positive test proves that this virus can infect even those who are being the most careful. Still, the photo of him posing maskless with his friends seems to paint a conflicting picture. Regardless, I hope that he doesn’t develop symptoms and that this blows over quickly.
Dave Chappelle also made headlines two months ago when he succeeded in boycotting Chappelle’s Show on Netflix after the streamer didn’t pay him, even though Netflix did actually purchase the rights to stream it. He admitted that he didn’t have a strong case legally, but that he ultimately felt compelled to speak out against what he felt was ethically and morally right. He explained further, saying that he fully believed networks took advantage of him as a young comedian and that he wasn’t fully aware of the binding power of studio contracts. Lesson apparently learned there. Netflix removed the show from its platform, marking a major victory for Chappelle and his demands for fair treatment.
If this story tells you anything, let it be that with COVID cases and infection rates increasing rapidly, it’s safe to assume that no one, not even the most careful person, is truly safe from this virus. Get better soon, Dave!