Dave Chappelle’s third “Saturday Night Live” monologue avoided anything closely related to the midterm elections, which was weird considering it’s not only his third time hosting, but also his third time hosting immediately after an election.
Chappelle’s first time hosting “SNL” came on the first episode after Trump’s victory in the 2016 election. He hosted again in 2020 in the first episode after that year’s election. Both times his monologues were observational musings on the state of the country after contentious elections.
But this time, Chappelle basically tested out some jokes about recent, but not *as* recent events. Specifically he spent a lot of time talking about Kanye West’s antisemitic comments and the trouble it’s caused him. And for some reason he talked a lot about Donald Trump — but mainly about Trump in 2016. And also kind of seemed to wink a lot at antisemitism in a very, very unnerving way.
Chappelle stepped out on stage as the “SNL” band played “Auld Lang Syne,” for some reason. Then Chappelle opened his monologue with a gift for Kanye.
“Before I start tonight I want to read a brief statement. I renounce antisemitism in all its forms and I stand with my friends in the Jewish community. And that, Kanye, is how you buy yourself some time.”
Chappelle joked that in his career, he’s learned “there are two words you should never say together in sequence. And those words are ‘the’ and ‘Jews.'”
Chappelle then did a stand-up routine summarizing that whole drama, which we’re sure you’re familiar with by now. He also sort of joked about the possibility that Kanye’s antisemitic statements might have some kernel of truth, joking at one point that Kanye’s comments violated “show business rules.”
“If they’re black it’s a gang, if they’re Italian, its a mob. And if they’re Jewish it’s a coincidence and you should never speak on it,” he said.
Chappelle also joked that “Kanye got in so much trouble Kyrie Irving got in trouble,” referencing the Brooklyn Nets players own antisemitism controversy. But then he defended Irving, or appeared to, saying “I know the Jewish people have been through terrible things around the world, but you can’t blame them on Black Americans.”
He also made a few jokes about how many Jewish people actually are in Hollywood.
Chappelle did briefly talk about the midterms, insulting Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker for a minute or too. “I have to admit he’s um, he’s observably stupid,” Chappelle said. Then he did an extended bit about why he thinks Trump appeals to people. It boiled down to Trump’s comment in 2016 that “I know the system is rigged because I use it.”
Then he talked about the situation in Ukraine, but concluded by returning to the Kanye stuff. Chappelle noted how Kanye’s finances have been devastated by what he said, and then implied he says bad things too. “I hope they don’t take everything away from me. Whoever they are.”
Ok, sure. Implied wink wink at antisemitism. Great job, “SNL.”
Before the monologue, “SNL” opened with yet another sketch commenting on current events with people doing celebrity impressions, in this case an episode of “Fox and Friends” where the hosts break up with Trump. Watch that below: