Dave Chappelle unfolds in the Columbus comedy show John Mulaney and sparks fury

Ohio comedian Dave Chappelle made a surprise appearance Friday on fellow comedian John Mulaney’s show in Columbus, drawing criticism on social media for what some in attendance called jokes targeting the LGBTQ community.

According to attendees, Chappelle, who lives in Yellow Springs, was a surprise opener for Mulaney’s “From Scratch” tour stop at Value City Arena in Ohio State on Friday. There is no footage from the event, as attendees had to lock their phones before the show, Variety reported.

Afterwards, many of the attendees took to social media to express concern and criticism over what they said were jokes targeting the transgender community. Some also reported that Mulaney and Chappelle shared an embrace on stage.

Dave Chappelle’s set called ‘transphobic’ by some at the show

Comments about Chappelle’s performance on the show were trending on Twitter over the weekend, with more than 19,200 tweets by Sunday afternoon.

Neither actor commented publicly on Friday’s show.

The viral incident follows other recent controversies involving Chappelle.

On Oct. 20, hundreds of Netflix employees staged a walkout following protests over Chappelle’s latest Netflix comedy special, “The Closer,” where the comedian made remarks many considered transphobic.

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He is particularly angry for his defense of ‘Harry Potter’ author JK Rowling, who has been accused of transphobia for years.

Last month, a 23-year-old man stormed onto the stage and tackled the performer to the ground during the Netflix Is A Joke comedy festival in Los Angeles. Video shared online appears to show the striker lunging into Chappelle, knocking the comedian to the ground.

Others support Chappelle, said he received a standing ovation and apologized

While some who watched the live show called some of Chappelle’s jokes “transphobic,” others took to social media and said he received a standing ovation.

In the Facebook comments under the Columbus Dispatch story, Brianne Kees said there was a standing ovation.

Sarah Higgiston, who said she found some of Chappelle’s jokes to be transphobic, said he apologized on Friday and said he was changing. She said he apologized for the prank he made in California that led to someone attacking him on stage. She also added that his Friday joke was making fun of himself, not a trans person, for being considered transphobic.

Cole Behrens is a reporter for the Columbus Dispatch, covering public safety and breaking news. You can reach him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @Colebehr_report

Javier E. Swan