“Will vs. Chris was an anomaly to me,” wrote Wood, who has been doing stand-up comedy since 1998. “Once or twice a year a comic gets rushed or fights a fan after a show, rare public news because they’re small-time comics, but the need to look over your shoulder has always been there.”
Atlanta-based veteran comic George Wallace joked with Ashleigh Banfield on WGN’s NewsNation Wednesday that he will now perform behind a steel cage or chicken wire. “It’s terrible what’s happening, but we have to keep laughing,” he said.
Angelo Sykes, co-owner of Uptown Comedy Corner, plans to hire off-duty cops and place security staff closer to the stage when the club reopens in a new location in Hapeville this weekend.
Marshall Chiles, who owns the Laughing Skull Lounge in Midtown, said what happened to Chappelle concerns him: “I just talked about it on stage and the audience was pensive in their reaction. Many of them shook their heads in disgust.” He said fortunately, over the years his audience has been respectful.
“My rule to deal with it all is, be funny and carry a big mic stand,” he said.
Gary Abdo, owner of the Atlanta Comedy Theater in Norcross, said he attended the first three days of the 11-day Netflix is a Joke Festival at various locations around Los Angeles. “I’m shocked the guy could get on the stage,” he said. “There will be changes to Dave’s security.”
At his own club, Abdo already uses off-duty cops for security as the norm. “Our police officers will be on higher alert than before,” he said. “I’m going to position them at the corners of the stages until things calm down.
Chris DiPetta, a manager for Buckhead’s Punchline Comedy Club, said he isn’t planning to make any changes. “We try to make people laugh,” he said. “No other agenda. There are people that are sick and looking for their 15 minutes of fame. Not everyone likes what they hear from our stage. We hope they just grin and bear it. It’s just jokes!”