Dave Chappelle’s opening monologue on Saturday Night Live tackled Kanye “Ye” West and Kyrie Irvin’s antisemitic comments, as well as Donald Trump and midterm elections.
He began his monologue by reading a letter he had prepared denouncing antisemitism, saying he’s never heard anyone do good after using the phrase “the Jews.” He went on to joke about how West thought he was untouchable until Adidas dropped him after his comments.
“I don’t think Kanye’s crazy,” Chappelle said. “He’s possibly not well.”
When discussing the midterms, the comedian primarily focused on Herschel Walker and how some people may feel like the Trump era is over, but he claims that’s not the case. He went on to explain that living in Ohio, he gets a firsthand look at Trump’s fanbase, saying “he’s very loved.”
Ahead of the opening monologue, the cold open featured a segment from Fox & Friends, starring Mikey Day, Heidi Gardner and Bowen Yang as Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt and Brian Kilmeade, with special appearances from Cecily Strong’s Kari Lake and James Austin Johnson’s Trump.
Chappelle hosted the comedy sketch series for the third time on Nov. 12. The last time the comedian hosted, it was the episode following the 2020 election in which Joe Biden defeated Trump, who was vying for a second term as president. Before that, he hosted the show after Trump won the 2016 presidential election.
SNL‘s decision to have Chappelle host spurred criticism after his controversial jokes about the transgender community in his Netflix special The Closer.
In teasers leading up to the episode, Chappelle and castmember Ego Nwodim seemingly addressed the controversy. After the comedian announced that he was hosting with musical guest Black Star, Nwodim asked him, confused, if they were doing the show live, Chappelle confirmed. “With you?” she continued, “In this news cycle?”
Black Star is the musical guest, which the comedian joked will be “an episode that’s so Black, it’s gonna be on BET.”