Dave Chappelle slammed San Francisco during a surprise show at the SF Masonic Auditorium on Thursday night.
The 49-year-old comedian took aim at the homelessness crisis in the Golden City, which he referred to during the set as his “second home”.
“What the f*** happened to this place?” the comedian said as he told the audience at the Masonic Auditorium how he saw a homeless person defecating outside an Indian restaurant he was about to eat at.
According to a February 2023 report by the Public Policy Institute of California, as of 2022, 30% of all people who experienced homelessness in the United States resided in California.
Chappelle also said that The Bay Area had become “half ‘Glee,’ half zombie movie,” and joked that they needed “a Batman”
The Tenderloin district of San Francisco is notorious for its crime, homelessness and drug problems.
“Y’all [expletive] need a Batman!” the comic declared.
However, his take on San Fran wasn’t all bad – before he got into all the reasons why he didn’t seem to like being there in the beginning of the show, he referred to the city as his second home.
He explained that early on In his comedy career he would perform there a lot – hundreds of times, in fact.
Chapelle’s criticism comes as the city is struggling to deal with a steep increase of homelessness and crime in recent years. It is estimated that 38,000 people are living on the streets in San Francisco on any given night, which represents a 35% increase since 2019.
Crime and homelessness concerns in San Francisco have been exacerbated by a police staffing shortage, when the department saw a 12% decrease in its number of full-duty sworn officers from 2019 to 2022.
Additionally, Chappelle’s experience with public defecation is not unique. In 2018, Sean Miller, a newcomer to the city developed a free app named “the Snapcrap” app to make it easier for people to report human feces and used needles on San Francisco’s streets.
“See something gross? Just snap a photo and press submit,” the app’s description reads.
The photos are passed to the city’s Public Works department, which has its own 311 app to report feces and trash, as well as potholes and graffiti.
Though San Francisco has become known as the epicenter of the homelessness crisis, the problem is statewide. A recent study found that a third of the U.S.’s entire homeless population and half of all unsheltered homeless people live in California.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s “Point in Time” survey, conducted in January 2022 and released at year’s end, indicated that at least 30% of all of America’s homeless population live in the Golden State, with homeless tents and encampments prevalent in some urban centers.