The (ostensibly) free world was shocked when Will Smith assaulted Chris Rock onstage at the Oscars in March. For telling a joke. And then, just days ago, Dave Chapelle was assaulted by an armed man who rushed the stage during his Hollywood Bowl set at the “Netflix Is a Joke” comedy festival. Apparently because the assailant didn’t like the tone or topic of some of Chapelle’s humor.
This has understandably caused other comedians to fear for their own safety. Howie Mandel recently told E! News that the Oscars incident may have “opened the floodgates” to preposterous and violent actions like these. Mandel said, “We’re already, as comedians, being attacked as far as being canceled for something that you don’t like, something that you find offensive, something that you think is too soon. You saw what happened at the Academy Awards, and I thought violence triggers violence.”
He added, “I think this is the beginning of the end for comedy.”
And that truly isn’t funny.