Comedian David Spade said after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars and a man recently attacked Dave Chappelle on stage the “invisible barrier between audience and stage has been broken.”
During the 57-year-old actor’s interview with the Hollywood Reporter, he was asked about the state of comedy amid cancel culture and his reaction to comedian Chappelle being attacked at the Hollywood Bowl.
“Since the Will Smith incident, I feel there’s a change in the air,” Spade explained. “The invisible barrier between audience and stage has been broken. But clearly the grace period is over.”
“I think all performers will hit first and ask questions later if someone comes at them,” he added. “Even if it’s a juggler, you might get a bowling pin across the temple.”
David Spade opens up about the joke that Netflix didn’t love from his special: “They said, ‘We don’t think that’ll work as well, but it’s up to you.'” https://t.co/wvfQNjtiFF pic.twitter.com/2HhtVmRZMy
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) May 7, 2022
Later, the “Grown Ups” star admitted doing comedy these days has significantly changed.
“And if you like comedy, and you go to comedy clubs, there’s people saying s*** you wouldn’t believe, but they’re not famous enough to get canceled,” the superstar shared. “So in a way, this is your competition. You’re watching someone better than you because they’re doing s*** you should be doing.”
“And so it’s a very tough juggling act,” he added. “I just try to be clever. I try to surprise in my jokes and just give an hour of fun without being too heavy, and no one needs to break into discussion groups after my special. Just, ‘Hey, that was all right.’”
Later, Spade talked about what kind of input, if any, Netflix had on his special “Nothing Personal.” He said that if executives at the streaming site “didn’t like” something he did, “they would tell” him.
“I actually did something that night that I just did off the top of my head, and I don’t think they made me take it out,” Spade shared. “I think they said, ‘We don’t think that’ll work as well, but it’s up to you.’ And I love that because ultimately people are gonna get mad at me, but they do shoulder some responsibility because they’re where people are seeing it. So they’re gonna get caught in the crossfire. And I ultimately took this thing out because I didn’t really love the joke. It was sort of offensive — way, way worse than anything in there.”