Dave Chappelle opens SNL with 15-minute monologue

(Photo by: Will Heath/NBC)

Over the weekend Dave Chappelle returned to NBC Universal’s Saturday Night Live for the third time and the first time since 2020. Since his last appearance, Chappelle received a significant amount of backlash for his anti-trans comments during his Netflix stand-up comedy special The Closer, which aired in 2021. 

Earlier in the week, Page Six reported that some staff writers were so furious that Chappelle was hosting the show, that they were refusing to write for the episode. “They’re not going to do the show,” an insider told Page Six. “But none of the actors are boycotting.” Chappelle’s reps vehemently denied any boycott. 

After the announcement that Chappelle was hosting, SNL writer Celeste Yim reportedly wrote on their Instagram Story: “I’m trans and non-binary. I use they/them pronouns. Transphobia is murder and it should be condemned.” It is, however, unclear if Yim was one of the writers who allegedly boycotted the show for the week. 

Ex-Netflix exec Terra Field, who sued the streaming service claiming they retaliated against them for speaking out against Chappelle, tweeted about the announcement:

After a cold opening sketch, Chappelle gave a 15-minute stand-up comedy monologue which began with the following statement: “I denounce antisemitism in all it’s forms and I stand with my friends in the Jewish community” but then diminished the sentiment by following up with saying, “and that, Kanye, is how you buy yourself some time.”

Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, did not find his “prepared statement” to be funny and took to Twitter on Sunday to share his dismay:

We shouldn’t expect @DaveChappelle to serve as society’s moral compass, but disturbing to see @nbcsnl not just normalize but popularize #antisemitism. Why are Jewish sensitivities denied or diminished at almost every turn? Why does our trauma trigger applause?

— Jonathan Greenblatt (@JGreenblattADL) November 13, 2022


Chappelle then went on to touch on the following subjects:

Kanye West aka Ye 

That initial jab against Ye wasn’t the only one and Chappelle touched on Ye’s mental illness, as well as Adidas, a company originally founded by nazis, who had dropped Ye for his antisemitic remarks. Near the end of his set, he mocked Ye for losing a billion dollars in a day. 


Somehow, while mocking Ye for his antisemitism, Chappelle also crossed the line into antisemitism and made a joke where he almost agreed with Ye that Jewish people are running the media and Hollywood. 

Kyrie Irving

Keeping with the antisemitism theme, Chappelle also mentioned Irving, who has recently fallen into controversy after posting a link to an antisemitic film, called Hebrew to Negroes: Wake Up Black America, which asserts the Holocaust never happened. Chappelle then went on to say, “I know the Jewish people have been through some terrible things all over the world. But you can’t blame that on Black Americans.”

The Midterm election

Chappelle didn’t spend much time joking about the midterm election. Still, he did take a couple of minutes to mock Herschel Walker and Donald Trump, his collusion with Russia, his tax returns, and how he knows the system is rigged because he uses the rigged system for his own gain.

The one subject Chappelle stayed clear from was his past anti-trans comments he made during his Netflix special. He didn’t mention the subject of the LGBTQ+ community at all. 

You can view the entire monologue here:

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