Dave Chappelle has canceled the remainder of his scheduled shows in Texas this week after testing positive for COVID-19. His diagnosis was confirmed by a rep speaking on behalf of the comedian, offering refunds to anyone who purchased a ticket to see one of the Austin shows. Dave Chappelle is now quarantining after testing positive, though it's noted that he hasn't yet suffered any symptoms associated with the virus.
"Chappelle has safely conducted socially-distanced shows in Ohio since June 2020 and he moved those shows to Austin during the winter," Chappelle's rep said in a statement. "Chappelle implemented COVID-19 protocols which included rapid testing for the audience and daily testing for himself and his team. His diligent testing enabled him to immediately respond by quarantining, thus mitigating the spread of the virus. Chappelle is asymptomatic."
Joe Rogan was scheduled to be featured at two of Chappelle's shows, and the podcast host posted an image of himself backstage with Chappelle earlier this week. Several other celebrities also appeared in the photo, including Ron White, Elon Musk, Grimes, Michelle Wolf, and Donnell Rawlings. In a followup post on Instagram, Rogan says he tested negative for the virus.
"Because people are asking, I was not exposed to the person who had COVID and I have tested negative every day this week. Also, the person that gave COVID to Dave was NOT Elon's partner Grimes," Rogan wrote.
Two of the others featured in the photo have also addressed the situation. White tells TMZ that he's going to go into quarantine until he's tested for COVID on Friday. Noting that he feels fantastic, the comedian says that "every precaution was made for it to be a safe environment and it was ridiculously fun to be back on stage after 10 months." Meanwhile, Rawlings also says that he's tested negative and feels "good mentally and physically," adding that he's suffered no symptoms.
Chappelle is best known for his stand-up work, which includes recent comedy specials on Netflix. He is also known for his Comedy Central series Chappelle's Show, which ran between 2003 and 2006. Chappelle famously quit the show partway through the third season, largely disappearing from the public eye until his comeback to the mainstream in recent years. This includes an Emmy-winning guest appearance on Saturday Night Live in 2016, with Chappelle returning to host the sketch comedy show again in November.
In the midst of the pandemic last year, Chappelle released the performance special 8:46 on YouTube. The performance was recorded at a private outdoor venue in Yellow Springs, Ohio, in observance of social distancing guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID. In the special, Chappelle addresses the controversial killing of George Floyd and the worldwide protests that followed. Chappelle was praised for the special and the video became YouTube's top trending video of the year. He would later go onto host SNL's election episode.
While he may be asymptomatic at the moment, that can change at any time until the comedian is in the clear. Best wishes to Dave with his recovery. This news was first reported by TMZ.