Nothing to laugh about.
Howie Mandel isn’t looking forward to doing stand-up comedy anytime soon.
The 66-year-old admitted he fears for the comedy community after Will Smith beat Chris Rock at the Oscars in March and the recent attack on Netflix’s Dave Chappelle on May 3 was a joke festival.
“Not to comment on what happened at the Oscars, but I thought that opened the floodgates,” the Deal or No Deal host told E! News’ Daily Pop Wednesday.
“We’re already under attack as comedians to the point of getting canceled for something you don’t like, something you find offensive, something you think is too soon,” he continued.
Mandel continued, “You saw what happened at the Oscars and I thought that just sparks — violence breeds violence. And I think that’s the beginning of the end of the comedy.”
The Canadian comedian also admitted that if he were in Rocks or Chapelle’s shoes, he joked, “I wouldn’t be standing there. I wouldn’t fight back and just run away.”
The America’s Got Talent judge also spoke to Extra’s Billy Bush yesterday about the incident with Chapelle at the Hollywood Bowl earlier this week. The 48-year-old was mugged on stage by 23-year-old Isaiah Lee, who was later charged with assault with a deadly weapon in the assault.
“That hit…no pun intended…that hit very deep,” Mandel said, “Watching what happened to Dave last night confirmed my fear. I kind of saw it live on Twitter and turned to my wife and said, ‘I don’t want to. I don’t want to go on stage. I’m just really scared.’”
Bush also checked with the Bullsh*t: The Game Show host if he was planning future comedy tours. Mandel replied, “The love for what we do is waning… Jokes have no safety net now.”
“Actually, I’m going to do less because love isn’t as fervent as it was six months ago,” he continued. “Because anxiety is rampant… and I’m a worry-living guy anyway… I’ve been open about my mental health. i am neurotic I suffer from depression.”
Radio shock jock Howard Stern tore Hollywood apart for implying they treat Smith differently than Chappelle. On Wednesday’s episode of The Howard Stern Show, the 68-year-old challenged the double standard.
“This guy jumped onstage and attacked Dave Chappelle,” Stern said, according to Mediaite. “As soon as that happened did they make him go back to his seat and laugh and sit next to his wife and then give them an award? No! They took him backstage, they broke his arms and hands so badly.”
The DJ added, “They f–king beat him up.”