It was one those sad, cringeworthy times you’d rather be in line for the bathroom than in the audience to witness.
Paul Mooney, the legendary comedian and actor who made his name writing for Richard Pryor and Red Foxx decades before guest starring on Dave Chappelle’s Chappelle Show, was booed and heckled by audience members several times during last week’s All-Star LOL Comedy Tour at the Schuster Center in downtown Dayton.
Mooney seemingly noted the incident or something else from the show on his Twitter page later that night.
GOOD START GOES BAD
The set started off well, if not a little strange.
Mooney and a female companion danced their way on stage after being introduced three times -- once by the show’s master of ceremony, comic RIP Micheals, then by the show’s DJ and finally, even grander over the loudspeaker.
The audience stood and applauded the living legend.
Mooney took a seat and began to joke about racism and seeing the Academy Award-nominated documentary “I am Not Your Negro” at the Neon movie theater in downtown Dayton.
Some in the crowd began to boo and grumble as Mooney’s set continued, particularly when he repeated the joke about seeing “I Am Not Your Negro.”
The boos were worse when Mooney launched into a bit about voting for Donald Trump and being happy that America would get what it deserved.
SHAW STEPS IN
Dayton City Commissioner Chris Shaw suddenly appeared on stage with State Rep. Alicia Reece to honor Mooney as many in the crowd became more agitated.
Shaw read a proclamation from the mayor declaring Paul Mooney Day.
Mooney left the stage after it was announced that his book would be on sale in the theater’s lobby.
Gerald Belle of GAB Productions, the promoter of the All-Star LOL Comedy Tour, said Mooney was ill before he took the stage.
Belle said he could not speak to the nature of the illness or why Mooney performed when he did.
He had been scheduled to perform at intermission.
There have been numerous rumors about Mooney’s health over the years.
In 2014, it was widely reported that he had prostate cancer.
Days before the show, GAB announced that Dave Chappelle, a Yellow Spring area resident, would not appear during the presentation.
Comedian Eddie Griffin was to replace Chappelle, yet Griffin did not appear in the show.
“I heard it was something with the weather,” Belle said. “There was a storm that blew in.”
Despite the absence of Chappelle or Griffin and Mooney being booed, Belle said the show was a success and attracted more than 1,700 comedy fans.
He said all the comedy on the bill performed, including Deon Cole, Tommy Davidson, AJ Johnson, Paul Mooney, DC Young Fly, Micheals, and Ray Lipowski.
Both Cole -- who is best known for his work on “Black-ish” and “Conan” -- and Davidson of “In Living Color” and “Black Dynamite,” made slight mentions of the crowd’s treatment of Mooney during their sets.