The comedy legend jabbed at White America, Donald Trump’s loss, and more, in a sobering and hopeful opening monologue on SNL.
Dave Chappelle returned to Saturday Night Live this evening with an abbreviated stand-up set that pulled no punches.
In the wake of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ historic victory in the 2020 election, Chappelle came armed with a short, but poignant, batch of jokes, jabbing at the decline of White America, anti-maskers, Donald Trump’s inexplicable COVID-19 antics, his contraction of the virus, and of course, his loss in the election, which was finally called today, sending cities across the country into the streets to celebrate. Chappelle also implied he saw no check from Chappelle’s Show‘s recent jump to new steaming platforms and gave an account of his pop-up comedy events, where he’s hosted fellow comedians and Yellow Springs, OH locals for tightly-controlled and heavily-tested stand-up shows in a cornfield.
The comedian’s return to the late-night sketch show was marked by a stark shift in tone from his contentious debut in 2016, when he was criticized for being too easy on Trump. This round featured none of the well-wishing, none of the empathy for a now departing tyrant. Just sharp, focused, and, at times, dark humor to buoy the collective spirit of the country. Chappelle appeared in several sketches throughout the night alongside the cast, including a bit where he played the Statefarm guy and made Pete Davidson’s Count Chocula spit out his fake teeth in an improvised moment of brilliance. The sketch also featured Alec Baldwin as a non-Trump character for the first time in years, signaling the end of his era as the cartoonishly brash and dumb president.
Watch Dave Chappelle open Saturday Night Live with a sobering and hopeful stand-up set below. You can watch last night’s full episode, featuring The Foo Fighters as musical guest, on Hulu.