Reading the room is not one of Dave Chappelle’s sharpest skills. On Sunday, the comedian surprised the audience at the San Francisco stop on his joint tour with Chris Rock by bringing out Elon Musk as a special guest. What he didn’t anticipate, however, was how much his fans — especially those in a city famously known for its technological innovation — absolutely loathe him. “You shut the fuck up with your boos,” Chappelle told the crowd, which ping-ponged between cheering and booing whenever Musk would stop or start talking.
“My first reaction when he stepped foot on stage was, ‘Oh wow. This guy,’” Chappelle fan Chris Douglas told Rolling Stone. “As for the boos, let’s just say it outweighed the cheers. It was like the Chase Center turned into the Apollo.”
He added: “I was just in shock. I didn’t applaud or partake in the booing. I was completely neutral.”
Online, descriptions of the crowd reaction heavily veered toward a brutal evisceration by way of booing, but some fans who were present found it a little more difficult to get a clear read on the atmosphere of the arena. “Some people booed and others cheered when Chappelle introduced him,” Claudia Alfaro shared. “I think Chappelle didn’t quite read the room or maybe wanted a shock factor. Either way, it just didn’t make sense to have Elon up there unable to handle the situation himself.”
During the few minutes that he was on stage, Musk deferred to Chappelle for instruction on how to handle the negative reactions, asking: “What should I say?” His friend’s advice? “Don’t say nothing, it’ll only spoil the moment.” In an attempt to cut through the awkwardness, the prolific shitposter borrowed a line from Chappelle’s Show, yelling, “I’m rich, bitch!” The boos only grew louder.
Musk attempted to minimize the damage to his ego on Twitter after the event, claiming that the cheering to booing ratio was 90 percent to 10 percent. “But, still, that’s a lot of boos, which is a first for me in real life,” he wrote. “It’s almost as if I’ve offended SF’s unhinged leftists … but nahhh.” (After receiving a heavy dose of mockery online, Musk deleted the tweet.)
“Understandably, because of who Musk is as a person and me being from the Bay Area, who has family that work at Tesla in Fremont, where the racial discrimination suit is taking place, his appearance made me dissatisfied,” Douglas explained. “On the other hand, him being the new owner of Twitter and supposedly reinstating suspended accounts could win me over as my Twitter account [has been] suspended since 2019.”
Harry Styles Wins Album of the Year in Jaw-Dropping Grammy Upset
Hip-Hop Turns 50. The Grammys Celebrate the Milestone Despite Its Complicated History With the Genre
Harry Styles Drops Lethargic ‘As It Was’ Grammys 2023 Performance
Bonnie Raitt Unexpectedly Wins Song of the Year for ‘Just Like That’ at Grammys 2023
But Musk’s awkward attempt at making the best out of an undeniably embarrassing situation apparently didn’t do much to win much of the rest of the crowd over. At one point after he took the stage, a fight broke out in the lower bowl, however it’s unclear if that was the result of anyone’s opposing views of the megabillionaire. Chappelle explained away the scuffle with a joke that didn’t quite land, suggesting that the attendees were antifa protestors.
“Everything wrong with this show is y’alls fault,” Chappelle told the crowd. Apparently taking accountability, or using critical thinking skills, isn’t one of his sharpest skills, either.