Published: 3:48 p.m. BST, 1 September 2022 | Updated: 4:18 p.m. BST, 1 September 2022
Dave Chappelle took to the stage with a lengthy stand-up show on Wednesday night at the ironically named Hot Water comedy club in Liverpool.
The controversial American comedian had held a secret concert on Merseyside ahead of an arena tour across the UK with Chris Rock, during which he is expected to preview new material.
His Liverpool appearance follows an expected uproar over jokes aimed at the transgender community, prompting his dismissal by streaming service Netflix, which recently announced a series of specials with the 49-year-old. .
Main man: Dave Chappelle took to the stage with a lengthy stand-up show on Wednesday night at the ironically named Hot Water comedy club in Liverpool (pictured on stage)
Hot Water then shared a photo of the comic on stage in the intimate venue, with the accompanying caption: “Dave Chappelle everyone…..best club in the world.”
Chappelle and Rock are due to perform at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool, before two dates at the O2 Arena in London.
The comedian is also taking part in a special tribute concert in memory of Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins at Wembley Stadium in London on September 3.
Controversy: Chappelle, winner of the 2019 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, has been accused of particularly targeting the transgender community in his comedy specials
Chappelle, winner of the 2019 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, has been accused of particularly targeting the transgender community in his comedy specials, including in October’s The Closer, which drew protests from activists who said it encouraged discrimination.
The famed First Avenue venue in Minnesota later canceled its show just hours before it was due to begin, responding to protests from staff and the community over jokes many people deemed transphobic.
“To the staff, artists and our community, we hear you and we are sorry,” First Avenue said in a statement.
“We know we have to hold ourselves to the highest standards and we know we let you down. We are not just a black box with people inside, and we understand that First Ave is not just a room, but has meaning beyond our walls.
Here it is: Hot Water then shared a photo of the comic on stage in the intimate room on Wednesday evening
Chappelle’s show was replaced by the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis, during which he made several jokes about the current situation.
According to the Star Tribune, he called monkeypox a “gay disease” and called the protesters at the event “transgender lunatics”.
He was also on stage at the Blue Note Jazz Festival in Napa, California in July, where he was joined by his wife Elaine Arte.
The artist’s presence at the event has once again sparked controversy, with several activists having previously raised concerns about his previous material.
Warm welcome: Chappelle was seen shaking hands after being welcomed on stage at the Hot Water Comedy Club in Liverpool
TransLife representative Jennifer Rihl issued a statement to SFGate in which she said she disapproved of his selection.
“Using comedy against us only promotes transphobia, so I don’t find it that funny,” she said.
She was also keen to add that transgender people have historically been “continuously discriminated against”.
The entertainer doubled down on his jokes and the powers that be at Netflix cited his “creative freedom” as the reason to keep the highly-watched show, released in 2021, available.
But his jokes – which included claims that “gender is a fact” – sparked widespread protests at rallies, online and from groups such as media watchdog and rights watchdog GLAAD, as well as the National Black Justice Coalition.