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A version of this story first appeared in the Feb. 5 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
On Jan. 21, Dave Chappelle ate with upcoming Oscar host Chris Rock at Hollywood’s The Hungry Cat before heading to his comedy set at Club Bahia in L.A.’s Echo Park. A source says that Chappelle got Rock onstage, who joked that he has bigger things to worry about than the Oscars’ race controversy, like his divorce, but that if he did pull out, “They’d just get Jamie Foxx to do the job.”
The next night, Chappelle headed over to the swanky No Name bar on Fairfax Avenue where he joined John Mayer (who guested on his popular Comedy Central show) onstage for an impromptu musical performance. “My name is Dave Chappelle. I was once wildly famous, now I’m mildly famous, but I never stopped being a bad motherf—er,” the comedian told the crowd of under 100 that included Nina Dobrev (spotted texting and smoking cigarettes), Diego Boneta, Nasim Pedrad and Cristin Milioti.
The night’s set list included “Killing Me Softly,” “This Is How We Do It,” “Ribbon in the Sky” and Drake’s ubiquitous “Hotline Bling.” No stranger to cultural criticism, Chappelle entered into the Oscars diversity controversy from the stage where he asked the audience, “Why are trannies more accepted than black people?”
The jam session lasted until 4 a.m. and near the finale John Lennon’s son Julian joined in to rock out.
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