Dave Chappelle, who is hosting “SNL” for the third time, jokes about Ye’s anti-Semitic comments and Herschel Walker
Dave Chappelle, who hosted NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” for the third time, opened the show with a roughly 15-minute monologue that explored hip-hop artist Yes’ anti-Semitic remarks, the midterm elections and former President Donald Trump’s political appeal Trump dealt with.
The comedian, known for stirring controversy and defying his most vocal critics, didn’t directly address the furore over his comments about the transgender community in a Netflix comedy special released last year.
Chappelle took the stage in Rockefeller Center’s Studio 8H and began his monologue with a lengthy riff on Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, who was widely condemned for making a series of anti-Semitic comments.
The comedian read a short statement: “I condemn anti-Semitism in all its forms and stand with my friends in the Jewish community — and this, Kanye, buys you some time.”
Chappelle mocked Ye, as did Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving, who posted a link to an anti-Semitic film on Twitter. But some of Chappelle’s comments seemed, at least in part, designed to shock and provoke.
“I’ve been to Hollywood and that’s exactly what I saw: it’s a lot of Jews, how many,” Chappelle said, laughing. “But that doesn’t mean anything, you know what I mean? There are a lot of black people in Ferguson, Missouri, but that doesn’t mean we run the place.”
Chappelle’s comments about anti-Semitism drew a mixed reaction on Twitter, where some viewers criticized him for appearing to downplay Ye’s remarks or his handling of problematic stereotypes.
Chappelle eventually turned his attention to other issues, including the midterm elections.
He mocked Herschel Walker, the scandal-plagued Republican nominee for the Georgia Senate who is heading for a runoff against incumbent Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock in December.
“I don’t want to badmouth him because he’s black,” Chapelle said, referring to Walker. “But I have to admit, he’s obviously stupid.”
Chappelle then explained why he thinks Trump is popular with voters in places like Ohio, where he lives. He described the former president (and possible candidate for 2024) as an “honest liar”.
“He was loved because the people of Ohio had never seen anyone like him,” Chappelle said. “He’s an honest liar. He said, ‘I know the system is rigged because I’m using it.'”
Chappelle previously hosted “SNL” over the weekend after the last two presidential elections.
He stepped under four days after Trump’s disgruntled victory in 2016 and joked in his monologue that voters voted for an “internet troll.” He returned four years later, taking the stage hours after President Joe Biden allegedly defeated Trump.
In recent years, Chappelle has garnered intense attention for his public statements about transgender people, particularly after Netflix released his recent stand-up special, The Closer.
The Closer, released October 5, 2021, drew accusations of transphobia and plunged the streaming giant into a chaotic PR crisis.
Hundreds of LGBTQ activists and Netflix employees marched outside the company’s Los Angeles headquarters later that month to protest the special.
For their part, those responsible for Netflix stood by Chappelle.
“We work hard to support their creative freedom — even if it means there will always be content on Netflix that some people find harmful,” Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos told employees at the time.
Netflix and Chappelle continued to make it clear that they would stick together, announcing in February that the comedian would produce and host four specials featuring stand-ups handpicked by him.
In late April this year, Chappelle defended himself during a sold-out performance at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on the first night of Netflix’s annual comedy festival.
Chappelle, who paced the stage and smoked a cigarette, told thousands of viewers on April 29 that he made “The Closer” with good intentions. He then made several jokes about trans people, including college swim star Lia Thomas.
Four days later, Chappelle was physically assaulted on stage at the Hollywood Bowl, assaulted and attacked by a man with a replica gun.
The suspect, who identifies as bisexual, later said he found Chapelle’s show “triggering”. In May he was charged with four counts.
Chappelle was not injured, and a Netflix spokesman condemned the attack.
The 48th season of “SNL” premiered on October 1 and past hosts have included Miles Teller, Brendan Gleeson, Megan Thee Stallion, Jack Harlow and Amy Schumer.
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