What led to the walkout Thursday night remained unclear hours later, The (Hartford) Courant said. Some reports said Chappelle disappeared because of jeers from the crowd, while others said some in the crowd got angry when Chappelle apparently lost interest in his performance and started reading aloud from a book a woman in the front row handed him.
"He was on stage for ... 25 minutes. For the first five or 10, he actually did go into his routine, telling a few jokes," Latanya Barrett of Bridgeport, who writes a blog, sprinklesandbooze.com, said. "It was a typical crowd, yelling out the occasional 'I love you' or something random. ... But every time anyone would scream anything, he would stop speaking and tell us how awful we were. ... It was just a regular crowd. ... I didn't understand why he was doing this."
Chris Moran, an employee of CT1 Media, which owns the Courant, said part of the problem was a long break between the previous act and Chappelle. He said some people left their seats and Chappelle reacted to members of the audience returning after he began his act.
Chappelle has a history of erratic behavior. The Funny or Die Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Tour, which began in Austin, Texas, with a standing ovation, is his first appearance as a standup comedian in several years.