Dave Chappelle tackled several controversial topics in his latest “Saturday Night Live” monologue, mostly focusing on Kanye West’s recent anti-Semitic comments.
In a lengthy stand-up set, Chappelle name-checked former President Donald Trump and Senate candidate Herschel Walker, and may have also alluded to backlash for jokes he’s made about transgender people.
Before beginning his routine, he unfolded a small piece of paper and read: “I denounce anti-Semitism in all its forms. And I’m with my friends in the Jewish community. And that’s how you make time, Kanye.” .
On the subject of West, Chappelle said he usually reached out to the rapper when West was embroiled in controversy, but this time, Chappelle said, he waited to observe the response to West’s anti-Semitic remarks. Chappelle also joked that “Kanye got in so much trouble, Kyrie got in trouble,” referring to the NBA star suspended by the Brooklyn Nets for comments after sharing a link to an anti-Semitic movie in social networks.
Chappelle said he could see West “buying into the delusion that Jews run show business,” saying that “it’s not a crazy thing to think, but it’s a crazy thing to say out loud in a climate like this”.
He continued, “I know the Jewish people have been through terrible things all over the world, but you can’t blame it on black Americans. You just can’t.”
In an apparent warning to the backlash some comedians receive when audiences find their jokes offensive, Chappelle ended the monologue by admitting to the audience that he no longer liked performing in front of large crowds, saying that “it shouldn’t be so scary to talk nothing. , it makes my job incredibly difficult.”
“I hope they don’t take anything away from me,” he said. “No matter who they are.”
Chappelle has made explicit jokes about the bodies of trans women and trans people in the wrong gender in several stand-up specials released in recent years. Criticism of his comments quickly escalated in 2021 after the premiere of his multibillion-dollar Netflix special, “The Closer,” offending LGBTQ advocates and leading some Netflix employees to protest the company and call for his withdrawal special
Netflix stood by the special, which was later nominated for two Emmys. Chappelle addressed criticism of the tour shortly after his special premiered, telling his audience that he was willing to talk to trans critics, but that he wasn’t “bowing to anybody’s demands.”