Comedian Dave Chappelle helped to welcome audiences back to New York’s fabled Radio City Music Hall on Saturday night (June 19) with a surprise rap concert featuring Q-Tip, De La Soul, and Redman.
The funnyman treated fans to the hip-hop gig, which also included a set by Fat Joe, following the Tribeca Festival premiere of his new documentary, “Dave Chappelle: This Time This Place,” the first event held at the iconic venue since the COVID-19 shutdown in March, 2020.
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The film took viewers behind the scenes of Chappelle’s outdoor stand-up shows in Ohio last summer, when he invited pals such as Chris Rock, Kevin Hart, Trevor Noah, and Jon Stewart to perform in a neighbor’s cornfield in his hometown of Yellow Springs.
The project was directed by Oscar-winning American Factory filmmakers Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar, and also chronicles how the Black Lives Matter protests and the killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minnesota police officers in May, 2020 affected the town.
After the screening, Chappelle took the stage and shared a few words with the fully-vaccinated audience.
“I’m so sorry if you lost someone, or lost something during this pandemic,” he told the crowd.
“We did what we could,” he added of bringing a little humor back into locals’ lives with his star-studded cornfield shows.
During the speech, Chappelle revealed he had an old-school approach to recruiting Reichert and Bognar for the documentary: “I literally knocked on their door,” he shrugged.
Explained Reichert, “He’s a neighbor. We see him in the grocery store. He said, ‘I’m going to try something. A week of outdoor comedy shows. I have a friend who has (a) field, and you need to document it.
“Documentary film (and) comedy. You may think, pretty different. But it’s all about storytelling and trying to find the truth.”
The Chappelle screening took place on the closing night of the Tribeca Festival, where guests included event jury members Sharon Stone and Delroy Lindo, as well as actors Jesse Williams, Zoe Kravitz, Anthony Anderson, and Bob Saget, according to Deadline.
The Tribeca Festival, which officially ended on Sunday, was the first in-person festival held in North America since the COVID crisis began.