Joe Rogan, Dave Chappelle team up to defy critics before sold-out New Orleans crowd

NEW ORLEANS – Joe Rogan and Dave Chappelle came together before a sold-out crowd in The Big Easy Thursday, teaming up for a joint event centered on mocking their critics and defying cancel culture.

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.”

JOE ROGAN QUESTIONS EVERYTHING -- "Podcast" -- Pictured: Joe Rogan -- (Photo by: Vivian Zink/Syfy/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

JOE ROGAN QUESTIONS EVERYTHING — “Podcast” — Pictured: Joe Rogan — (Photo by: Vivian Zink/Syfy/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
(Photo by: Vivian Zink/Syfy/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

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. 

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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. 

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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. 

DAYTON, OHIO - AUGUST 25: Jon Stewart and Dave Chappelle attends Dave Chappelle's Block Party on August 25, 2019 in Dayton, Ohio. (Photo by Stephen J. Cohen/Getty Images)

DAYTON, OHIO – AUGUST 25: Jon Stewart and Dave Chappelle attends Dave Chappelle’s Block Party on August 25, 2019 in Dayton, Ohio. (Photo by Stephen J. Cohen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stephen J. Cohen)

“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.” 

FILE PHOTO: Comedian Dave Chappelle arrives to receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center in Washington, U.S., October 27, 2019. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo

FILE PHOTO: Comedian Dave Chappelle arrives to receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center in Washington, U.S., October 27, 2019. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo
(REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo)

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. 

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“When they ask you why you’re doing that for them, tell them Dave Chappelle says hello,” he said. 

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