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No laughing matter: NI comics on the perils of stand-up after Rock And Chappelle attacks

Following that infamous Oscars slap and Dave Chappelle’s attack on stage, NI comedians are asking themselves if their audiences can still take a joke. By Gillian Halliday

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No joke: Will Smith launches an attack on Chris Rock at the Oscars. Credit: Chris Pizzello/AP

No joke: Will Smith launches an attack on Chris Rock at the Oscars. Credit: Chris Pizzello/AP

Dave Elliott

Dave Elliott

Paddy McDonnell. Credit: Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Paddy McDonnell. Credit: Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Chris Rock has appeared at a few small gigs in Belfast recently. Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage

Chris Rock has appeared at a few small gigs in Belfast recently. Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage

WireImage

Dave Chappelle was attacked on stage at the Hollywood Bowl. Credit: Netflix/Mathieu Bitton/PA

Dave Chappelle was attacked on stage at the Hollywood Bowl. Credit: Netflix/Mathieu Bitton/PA

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No joke: Will Smith launches an attack on Chris Rock at the Oscars. Credit: Chris Pizzello/AP

As long as the comedy club has been in existence, hecklers have been the number one occupational hazard for stand-up comics. But after that infamous slap by Will Smith on Chris Rock — as well as the on-stage attack on Dave Chappelle, comedians word-wide are asking themselves if audiences will now take the term ‘punchline’ literally. And Northern Ireland comics are no different.

Co Down funny man Patrick Kielty weighed into the debate when he asked recently if he would punch Chris Rock if the Tambourine performer had mocked wife Cat Deeley in the same way actor Will Smith had attacked the stand-up comic at the Oscars for making a gag about his partner Jada Pinkett Smith’s alopecia.


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