Anyone who bought a ticket to the Laugh Factory on Sunday night ended up getting two surprises.
The first came when Dave Chappelle appeared onstage at 10:36 p.m. for an unannounced set. The second shocker: Chappelle kept telling jokes until 4:43 the next morning— making his entire set a whopping six hours and seven minutes.
That’s the longest performance by any comedian in the the 28-year history of the Laugh Factory, according to founder Jamie Masada.
Amazingly, the previous record was established just a few days earlier. On April 10, Dane Cook performed his own marathon act, appearing on stage for three hours and fifty minutes.
“It was just one of those nights,” Masada said of Chappelle’s appearance. “He had everyone laughing for six hours.”
Indeed, Masada said only about a dozen of the 150-plus original members of the audience left the club before Chappelle wrapped his set. “The audience was with him 100 percent,” he said.
Chappelle didn’t take any bathroom breaks. And Laugh Factory staff stopped serving alcohol around midnight, Masada said.
Not surprisingly, Chappelle covered a multitude of topics during his megaset, tackling everything from President Bush’s intelligence (or lack thereof) to Comedy Central’s decision to hype Carlos Mencia after Chappelle abandoned his show for the cabler.
Chappelle also took on Michael Richards’ headline-making Laugh Factory set from last year, as well as Masada’s decision to impose a fine on any comic who uses the “N”-word onstage.
“I was his punching bag for a half hour,” Masada said. Chappelle was assessed a $2200 penalty for using the offending word.
Masada said the perf wasn’t officially videotaped but that Chappelle made several references to trying to break the club’s length record.
By contrast, Cook’s supersized set seemed more of an accident, serving as almost therapy following the death of Cook’s father earlier this month. “It was a sad thing,” Masada said. “He wanted to honor him.”
Pryor’s now broken record was set in 1980, when the comedian performed for 2 hours and 41 minutes.