Dave Chappelle is back with last-minute, surprise shows at Comedy Works


Mega-comic Dave Chappelle today will perform another round of surprise, last-minute shows at Comedy Works’ 300-seat downtown location on Tuesday, Oct. 11, following another surprise visit there in April.

Chappelle, who has sold out Red Rocks Amphitheatre for his birthday shows in the past, visits Denver on and off to play surprise shows at Comedy Works — which also instantly sell out. He came up playing the roughly intimate club and has a friendship with owner Wende Curtis, he has said.

That’s why he likes to choose such a tiny venue in relation to his audience draw, working out new material in the same way that big comics often visit New York’s Comedy Cellar. It’s also why he often only gives fans a few minutes’ notice before they need to buy tickets.

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Ticket prices for the pair of shows — at 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Tuesday — were likely commensurate with Chapelle’s stature ($156 each during the last around, and available first to Comedy Works subscribers). They went on sale at 10 a.m. today (Monday, Oct. 10), according to comedyworks.com, and sold out in less than an hour. Prices were not immediate available.

As with past shows, Chappelle is asking patrons to leave their cell phones at home. He has been instrumental in testing the Yondr technology, which puts audience members’ cell phones in magnetically locked bags until the show has concluded. Other comics, such as Chris Rock, have gone on to use it at much larger Denver stand-up shows, including at Bellco Theatre.

“Please leave your phones in your cars or at home,” Comedy Works officials wrote. “Everyone is subject to a pat down. Anyone caught with a cell phone inside the venue will be immediately ejected and no refund given.”

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Chappelle’s jokes have sparked controversy in recent years as he’s repeatedly hammered home his criticisms of the trans community, mocking the fundamental notion that gender is fluid. He was tackled during a performance at the Hollywood Bowl Tuesday, May 3, 2022. Security guards chased and overpowered the attacker, and Chappelle was able to continue his performance while the man was taken away in an ambulance, according to the Associated Press.

Employees of Netflix, which regularly airs his new specials, staged a walkout in protest of his views in October. In February, Chappelle announced that his classic sketch series, “Chappelle’s Show,” would return to Netflix after Comedy Central reportedly paid him for the rights. Netflix then said it would release four upcoming comedy specials this year executive produced and hosted by Chappelle.

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