Dave Chappelle’s opening monologue on Saturday Night Live addressed Kanye “Ye” West’s anti-Semitic comments, as well as Donald Trump and the midterm elections.
The comedian began by reading a statement he said he had prepared. “I condemn anti-Semitism in all its forms. And I stand behind my friends in the Jewish community,” he said, before adding, “And that, Kanye, is how you buy some time for yourself.”
Chappelle spent much of his set focusing on West and how the rapper and fashion mogul thought he was untouchable, until Adidas, among other business associates, dropped him after a string of anti-Semitic comments on social media. “Ironically, Addias was founded by Nazis and even they were offended,” he said.
Chappelle also discussed the controversy surrounding Kyrie Irving, who was recently banned from the Brooklyn Nets for at least five games after sharing a link to the documentary. Hebrews for Negroes: Wake Up Black America — a film that contains anti-Semitic sentiments.
“He was slow to apologize,” the SNL host said of the NBA star. “The demands to regain their favor were getting longer and longer and this is where I draw the line: I know the Jewish people around the world have been through terrible things, but you can’t blame black Americans for that. You just can’t.”
SNLChappelle’s decision to host sparked criticism after his controversial transgender jokes in his Netflix special The closer.
In teasers leading up to the episode, Chappelle and cast member Ego Nwodim seemingly addressed the controversy. After the comedian announced he was presenting with musical guest Black Star, Nwodim confusedly asked if they were doing the show live, Chappelle confirmed. “With you?” she continued, “In this news cycle?” But Chappelle didn’t address the backlash in his monologue.
Discussing the midterms, the comedian focused mainly on Herschel Walker and how some news organizations feel the Trump era is over, but he claims it isn’t. He went on to explain that living in Ohio will give him first-hand Trump’s fan base, saying, “He’s very much loved. And the reason he’s so loved is because people in Ohio have never seen someone like he have seen.”
Prior to the opening monologue, the cold opening featured an excerpt from: Fox & Friends, starring Mikey Day, Heidi Gardner and Bowen Yang as Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt and Brian Kilmeade, with special appearances by Cecily Strong’s Kari Lake and James Austin Johnson’s Trump.
Chappelle hosted the comedy sketch series for the third time on November 12. The last time the comedian presented was the post-2020 election where Joe Biden defeated Trump, who was running for a second term as president. Before that, he hosted the show after Trump won the 2016 presidential election.