Fans of both comedy stars filled the Smoothie King Center on the edge of New Orleans’ French Quarter, with no intention to heed calls from some to shun them over their recent controversies.
The two faced a swath of criticism in recent weeks stemming from Rogan’s outspoken views against the coronavirus vaccine and in favor of certain treatments for the virus, and Chappelle’s jokes about transgender people in his recently released Netflix special, “The Closer.”
The star-studded lineup, which included comedians Donnell Rawlings, Jeff Ross and Tom Segura, culminated with both Rogan and Chappelle, while only appearing briefly on stage together, holding firm to their respective comedic styles and pressing forward with sharing the jokes and views that originally led to them being targeted by critics.
Rogan, who appeared before Chappelle, joked that people shouldn’t be taking his advice when it came to the coronavirus and whether or not they decided to get vaccinated. He was seemingly referencing criticism he received from media outlets, such as CNN, for expressing skepticism of the coronavirus vaccines on his hit podcast, as well as his use of the drug ivermectin to treat his COVID case from September.
“This is my advice: Don’t listen to my advice,” Rogan said to the laughing crowd, citing his tendency to be “canceled” for the things he says.
He later riffed on topics like gender, homosexuality and race.
“See, this is what gets me canceled,” he said, noting his jokes don’t sound as good when written on paper.
Rogan introduced Chappelle, who began his routine by qupping he had recently “made a lot of White people angry,” appearing to reference the backlash against his transgender remarks, specifically from some Netflix employees. A small number of them later participated in a walk-out in protest of Chappelle’s special.
He joked his wife had purchased him a revolver after the release of his special because transgender people were “trying to kill” him.
“Don’t go transgender on me!” Chappelle said later as the crowd loudly booed after he introduced one of his bodyguards as a former football player for the Dallas Cowboys. The Smoothie King Center sits adjacent to the Caesars Superdome, home of the New Orleans Saints.
When a fan later began chanting, “Let’s go Brandon!” Chappelle joked, “I’m not going to have that s**t during my show.” He claimed that no one should be saying, “F**k Joe Biden,” but noted, to laughter, that President Joe Biden had been looking observably “frail.”
He ended the show by telling audience members if they saw a transgender person on the street, they should buy them a cup of coffee.
“When they ask you why you’re doing that for them, tell them Dave Chappelle says hello,” he said.