Elon Musk booed by crowd after Dave Chappelle brings him on stage at comedy gig

Technology

Elon Musk attends Heidi Klum’s 2022 Hallowe’en Party at Cathedrale at Moxy Hotel on October 31, 2022 in New York City.
Taylor Hill | Getty Images

Tech billionaire Elon Musk was met with a mixture of boos and cheers from an audience at a Dave Chappelle comedy show Sunday night.

The comedian brought Tesla CEO Musk out on the stage at a special Punchline Comedy Club event on Dec. 11 at the Chase Center in San Francisco.

In a video shared on Twitter, the crowd can be heard jeering Musk, whose recent purchase of the social media platform has attracted criticism due to concerns about mass layoffs and looser content moderation.

“Ladies and gentlemen, make some noise for the richest man in the world,” Chappelle tells the audience. A number of audience members cheered — though there was also a loud chorus of boos, too.

“You weren’t expecting this, were you?” Musk tells Chappelle following the boos.

Chappelle responds: “It sounds like some of those people you fired are in the audience.”

Later in the video, Chappelle says: “All these people that are booing, I’m just pointing out the obvious — they have terrible seats in the stadium.”

The owner of the video that was posted on Twitter appears to have had their account suspended or has taken it down, with a message reading: “This Tweet is from an account that no longer exists.”

Twitter, which laid off several communications staffers in its move to cut roughly half its workforce, was not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC.

Twitter user James Yu, who says he was at the Chappelle show, tweeted: “A good 80% of the stadium boos. 18k people.”

“Dave gave him so many chances to speak but he just put his hands in his pockets,” Yu added.

“I actually felt bad for him. I’m by no means an Elon fanboy, more a centrist. I wanted to shake him: for the love of god man, say something and pretend it’s a tweet!!”

Musk drew criticism for a Sunday tweet targeting Anthony Fauci, the outgoing U.S. chief medical advisor who was the face of the White House’s response to Covid-19. The tweet added fuel to the fire of a wave of online abuse and conspiracies directed at the veteran immunologist.

The Tesla chief — who once predicted the Covid pandemic would end in April 2020 — has repeatedly slammed the strategy of using lockdowns to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

In the tweet, Musk mocked the use of pronouns to refer to a person’s gender. “My pronouns are Prosecute/Fauci,” the billionaire tweeted.

Several Twitter users decried the tweet’s transphobic connotations. Chappelle has himself been the target of criticism for making transphobic jokes in his Netflix stand-up special “The Closer.”

Correction: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Dave Chappelle’s name.

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