Comedian Dave Chappelle Saturday Night Live monologue has divided social media.
Chappelle returned to host the show for the third time on Saturday night, and the first since coming under fire for his jokes about the transgender community following the release of his 2021 Netflix special.
The announcement that Chappelle was returning to host SNL sparked a quick reaction, and Page Six reported that some of the show’s writers planned to boycott the episode.
Chappell did not mention the controversy during his stage appearance, but began his monologue by reading a prepared statement. “I speak out against anti-Semitism in all its forms and stand in solidarity with my friends in the Jewish community,” he said, adding, “And that, Kanye, is how you win. time”.
Chappelle spent much of his 15-minute monologue on Kanye West’s recent anti-Semitic remarks, though he also spoke about Donald Trump and the midterm elections.
He said that early in his career he learned that there were “two words in the English language that should never be said together in order and those words are ‘the’ and ‘the Jews’. “.
Regarding the fallout from West’s anti-Semitic remarks, Chappelle continued that “it’s a big deal” because “he broke the rules of show business.”
“You know, the rules of perception,” he said. “If they’re black, then it’s a gang. If they’re Italian, it’s a mob. But if they’re Jewish, it’s a coincidence and you should never talk about it.”
Chappelle went on to joke that “Kanye had so much trouble, Kyrie had so much trouble,” referencing Kyrie Irving who was suspended from the Brooklyn Nets for at least five games after sharing a link to an anti-Semitic movie on social networks.
“The NBA told him he should apologize and he took a long time to apologize, and then the list of demands to get back in their good graces got longer and longer, and that’s when I draw the line. I know Jewish people have been through terrible things all over the world, but you can’t blame that on black Americans. You just can’t.
In an apparent nod to the backlash of his jokes, Chappelle ended his monologue by saying he was “sick of” talking to crowds. “It shouldn’t be so scary to talk about anything, it makes my job incredibly difficult,” he said.
He thanked the fans for their support, adding, “I hope they don’t take anything away from me…whoever they are.”
Viewers took to social media with mixed opinions, with some criticizing Chappelle for echoing the same anti-Semitic conspiracy theories that got West into trouble.
“The only thing more disgusting than Chappelle’s anti-Semitism is the laughter of the public,” tweeted Jewish Insider editor Melissa Weiss.
“This monologue by chappelle snl… rather anti-Semitic!” added journalist Marlow Stern.
Others asked why he was allowed to host.
“Truly amazing that Chappelle got another chance to host SNL after all his anti-trans comments and saying ‘we should give Trump a chance’ and he took that opportunity to try some new material ‘maybe it’ ‘is actually the fault of the Jews,'” tweeted Max Berger, the co-founder of the activist organization IfNotNow.
However, some came to Chappelle’s defense.
“Come on…what Kyrie and Kanye said was anti-Semitic,” tweeted Heritage Foundation researcher Jason Bedrick. “It’s just funny. We Jews shouldn’t forget how to take a joke.”
Music producer Felix Kay wrote, “Dave Chappelle is a comedian. Either you like his jokes or you don’t. He doesn’t care.”
Ice-T, who appeared in a skit alongside Chappelle on Saturday night, tweeted, “Someone said they were going to CANCEL me after I did SNL with Dave Chappelle… LOL! These MF’s tryin’ to m canceled for over 30 years!”
Newsweek has reached out to SNL and a Chappelle rep for comment.
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