An attacker “lunged at” Dave Chappelle and sent the comedian “flying in the air” during an event at the Hollywood Bowl, according to a witness.
The 48-year-old was performing at the Los Angeles venue on Tuesday night as part of the Netflix Is A Joke festival when a man rushed on to the stage.
The incident happened as Chappelle was closing the show and thanking the comedians who had performed before him, who included Chris Rock, Leslie Jones and Jon Stewart.
The attack came after Rock was slapped by Will Smith while on stage at the Oscars, prompting some members of the comedy community to question whether it remains safe to perform publicly.
Hollywood star Jamie Foxx, a close friend of Chappelle, then came on stage to check the comic was OK, before reportedly helping to apprehend the attacker.
Video posted on social media appeared to show a man, reported by US media outlets to be the attacker, with a badly injured arm being put in an ambulance.
Los Angeles-based journalist Sharon Carpenter, who was in the audience, told the PA news agency: “It looked like someone dashed from the side of the stage, lunged at Dave, and all I saw was Dave basically flying in the air.
“He fell backwards onto his back, with his arms and legs up in the air. He was obviously in shock. We were all in shock. And I thought for a moment ‘OK, is this a prank?’ because they had made some Will Smith jokes.
“Even though Chris Rock was there, Dave was making some jokes, it was fair game, right? He was making some jokes about the situation.”