Spectators in San Francisco shouted boos after comedian Dave Chappelle invited Elon Musk onstage on Sunday night. Musk is a billionaire who craves the adoration of legions of fans. And the footage is pretty rough, even if you don’t particularly like Musk.
“Ladies and gentlemen, make some noise for the richest man in the world,” Chappelle said near the end of his set at the Chase Center.
Twitter footage shows that boos won out over cheers in the crowd before the cheers subsided. The booing got louder as Musk wandered around onstage with a microphone in hand. Musk started pacing and waving, clearly unsure what to do about such a negative reaction.
“Hey Dave,” Musk responded, prompting another wave of boos from the crowd.
“It sounds like some of the people you fired are in the audience,” Chappelle joked.
Trying to save Musk’s dignity by referring to those booing as poor, Chappelle said, “You have terrible seats.”
Phones weren’t allowed inside the stadium for the show, but at least one person snuck theirs in and captured the bizarre exchange, posting it to Twitter.
Chappelle tried to salvage the encounter, according to a second video posted to Twitter, joking, “his whole business model is fuck Earth, I’m leaving anyway.”
“What kind of pussy they got up there? That’s what we’ll be doing,” Chappelle said, according to the video.
After Chappelle joked about “titty bars” in space, the crowd seemed to be properly won over, and Musk started to speak again.
“Thanks for having me up on stage,” Musk said awkwardly to more boos.
Chappelle said he could boo Musk all he liked because Musk gave him a jetpack last Christmas, which drowned out the laughs at his jokes.
But every single time Musk began to speak, the crowd started booing again, much to their frustration of Musk.
“Don’t say nothing. It’ll only spoil the moment,” Chappelle said. “Do you hear that sound, Elon? That’s the sound of pending civil unrest. I can’t wait to see what store you decimate next, motherfucker. You shut the fuck up.”
The mood in the stadium changed when Chappelle started to get hostile in defense of Musk.
“I wish everyone in this auditorium peace and the joy of feeling free,” Chappelle said, clearly exhausted that bringing Musk on stage had been such a failure. “And your pursuit of happiness. Amen.”
At that point, Chappelle decided to throw in the towel, thanking the crowd and saying good night, but a third video shows Chris Rock joining the stage along with a few other people.
“I’m rich, bitch,” is the catchphrase used in Chappelle’s 2000s sketch show. While handing Musk the microphone, the man says, “wait, wait,” clearly asking for Musk to repeat the same statement. Musk does, in the most awkward tone, you could imagine. The crowd again erupts into boos, only drowned out by someone in the stadium’s sound department honking a horn of some sort.
It’s difficult to tell from the videos precisely what percentage of the crowd was booing during the cringeworthy episode, but some on social media estimated it was the vast majority of people in the 18,000-capacity stadium.
“Was at the Dave Chapelle show at SF tonight, and who comes on but Elon Musk! A good 80% of the stadium boos. 18k people, and he withers. Like absolutely turns into a corncob. ‘What should I say??’ He says Dave tries to salvage the situation but to no avail,” James Yu, the founder of Sudowrite, said on Twitter.
“Obv easy to armchair play afterward, but at least say something. ‘Thanks. Now, pay me $8′, and a mic drop would have gotten a laugh. He did mumble something about being in a simulation, but felt totally off vibe for the crowd,” Yu explained.
Musk, who used to have a rather bipartisan appeal in the U.S., has outed himself as an entitled right-wing prick in the short span that he’s owned Twitter. Musk bought Twitter, along with several investors, for $44 billion at the end of October when he almost immediately instigated brutal layoffs.
Musk has also been trying to court some of the worst people on the internet lately, tweeting over the weekend that his “pronouns” are “Prosecute/Fauci.” The tweet is both a “joke” about people who are trans and a reference to the far-right belief that Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading infectious disease expert, was somehow responsible for the covid-19 pandemic that struck the entire world.
San Francisco is known as a liberal city, and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise for a Bay Area crowd to boo the wealthiest man in the world. But it’s not like this was a crowd of Antifa supersoldiers or something. The people in attendance were there to see Dave Chapelle, a man who’s recently outed himself as an anti-trans bigot.
Maybe the crowd was made up of the thousands of people Musk laid off from Twitter, as Chappelle joked. That certainly seems like a very real possibility, given the response. It’s hard to narrow down Musk’s assholery for so many different reasons lately. Musk has also been directing his hostility at former employees, some of whom elected to stay on with the company after Musk’s initial purge, like Yoel Roth, the former head of Trust and Safety at Twitter.
According to Musk’s QAnon mythology, the billionaire is on a quest to personally end the exploitation of children across the globe by sexualizing them, an absurd and baseless claim. In reality, Musk has gutted the team at Twitter that monitors for child exploitation material, according to Wired UK.
Due to his huge wealth, Musk may not face any real consequences in his life, but all the money in the world can’t buy you true adoration from masses of people. Perhaps Musk should stick to his safe space on Twitter. He did pay $44 billion for it, after all. Strange nerds love him for his wealth, even if it’s digital, and they want nothing more than to be near it.