Dave Chappelle show in Buffalo will benefit families of mass shooting victims
Comedian Dave Chappelle, who booked a last-minute show in Buffalo Sunday, announced on stage he had done so to honor the victims of the racially motivated attack at a supermarket where a gunman killed 10 people.
“He said, and I’m paraphrasing, (he) came here to Buffalo to recognize the victims and for these families,” said Kevin Sweeney, director of marketing and communications for Shea’s Performing Arts Center, the 3,019-seat venue that hosted Sunday's event.
At the end of the performance, Chappelle said family members of the victims were in the audience at his invitation and that he was donating proceeds from ticket sales to them.
Facebook commenters in attendance described it as "a very emotional, yet funny night,” “on point” and “seriously inspiring.”
Neither the venue nor Live Nation, who sponsored the show, have any involvement in Chappelle’s plan and could not provide more specifics, Sweeney said.
USA TODAY has reached out to Chappelle's rep for more details.
Sweeney said his team was "notified on Wednesday” about the comedy show. Tickets went on sale on the Live Nation website at 10 a.m. June 2 and sold out within an hour.
“It’s my understanding that he’ll do things last-minute,” he added
Chappelle, 48, made headlines last month after the comedian was attacked on stage by an audience member during the comedian's set for the Netflix Is A Joke Fest at in Los Angeles. The alleged suspect, Isaiah Lee, was charged with assault with a deadly weapon after pointing a replica handgun containing a knife at Chappelle.
Can America take a joke?:Yes. Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock incidents are part of a continuum, experts say
Lee told the New York Post in an interview published May 22, the comedian's set was "triggering" for him, denying that he had the weapon drawn when he approached the comedian.
"I identify as bisexual … and I wanted him to know what he said was triggering," Lee told the outlet. "I wanted him to know that next time, he should consider first running his material by people it could affect."
'What he said was triggering':Dave Chappelle's alleged attacker speaks out on incident
Chappelle's 2021 Netflix special "The Closer" sparked outrage and debate surrounding his remarks about the LGBTQ community, in particular the transgender community, and led to a walkout of angered Netflix employees.
Contributing: Naledi Ushe and Elise Brisco, USA TODAY