“Did I trigger you?”
Dave Chappelle returned to SNL for the first time in four years, when he again was given the duties of being the first host following a presidential election. In 2016 Chappelle called for people to give the newly elected President Trump a chance during uncertainty. This time around though he wasted no time laying into EVERYONE.
A few weeks ago we all applauded Bill Burr for going on SNL and not changing a thing about his defiant brand of stand up, regardless of the audience. Well Chappelle walked out smoking a cigarette and proceeded to absolutely bulldoze the SNL audience with a raw, uncomfortable, and blistering 16 minute monologue.
“I’m sorry Lorne, I thought we were doing a comedy show,” Chappelle laughed to himself as the crowd fell uncomfortably quiet.
Chappelle joked about COVID, slavery, racism, sexism, classism and more as he dropped way more n-bombs than the typical Saturday Night Live crowd is used to hearing. If you’re a devout Chappelle fan like me then it was a classic takedown of the country as it currently stands. But you can hear a lot of hurt in his voice as he reveals the only way to make people listen to the issues he sees in our country today is by making them laugh about it.
“I can’t even tell something true unless it has a punchline behind it. You guys aren’t ready. You’re not ready for this. You don’t know how to survive yourselves.”
I applaud SNL for recognizing the moment and bringing in a first ballot Hall of Fame standup comedian to host at a point in time where it would have rang hollow to have anyone else sticking their head in the sand. Sure, SNL has always been pretty liberal in its skewering of some and lionizing of others, but Chappelle has always been able to just speak the truth regardless of politics.
As uncomfortable as he made that audience at 30 Rock, this was comedy at its absolute best: painfully honest.