A seemingly normal stand-up set in 2015 is still haunting Dave Chappelle.
At a show in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Chappelle spotted an audience member drawing while the comedian was performing his routine. Naturally, for someone as adept at cracking improvisational jokes, Chappelle clowned the guy. If you’re an avid fan of Dave’s, you’ll remember what happened next. The friend of the guy who was the subject of these jokes—eventually identified as Santa Fe resident Christian Englander—threw a banana peel at Chappelle, which reportedly resulted in bodyguards restraining him, and according to a new lawsuit filed by Englander, a physical beating.
While Englander maintains that his banana throwing stunt was in no way meant as a racist statement, he did do the same exact thing to another black man, mere days after the heavily publicized first incident. He even admitted to it, stating, “I did throw another banana peel last night.” Now, the legendary stand-up comedian and his bodyguard are currently being sued by Englander.
According to Page Six, the lawsuit claims Englander was hit, twice, while he was being restrained during the 2015 performance. More explicitly, KOB4 reports that the lawsuit states that “Defendant Corey (Last Name Unknown), struck the Plaintiff twice in the face, without provocation, under the clear direction of Defendant Dave Chappelle.” Englander, himself, claims he had no racist intentions, but was merely frustrated by Chappelle’s jokes and hence reacted by throwing a banana peel.
While Englander reportedly faced legal charges for his 2015 disruption, including disturbing the peace and battery, they were all dropped—presumably because Chappelle had no intention of participating in a prosecution. Of course, that’s because Dave is one of the coolest guys in show business, and likely didn’t want to waste any more time on the situation.