Dave Chappelle recently hosted Saturday Night Live for the third time and during his opening monologue, the American comedian used the majority of his 15 minutes to discuss Ye, the artist formally known as Kanye West for the rapper’s recent antisemitic comments. Like much of Chappelle’s other content, it received backlash, but we’re pretty sure most people will find it hilarious.
Dave Chappelle has never been one to mince his words. Regularly on the receiving end of backlash from a raft of critics, he is a man who believes firmly in artistic expression and the fact comedians should be able to say what they want without the woke brigade getting involved.
His latest skit, a 15-minute opening monologue during a recent stint hosting Saturday Night Live for the third time, following the United States mid-term elections – his other two appearances came on the back of the 2016 and 2020 US Presidential Elections – has also received some backlash, for his comments on Kanye West.
WATCH: A Compilation Of Moments From Dave Chappelle’s SNL Opening Monologue
West took to Twitter in October to claim he was going to go “death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE.” His comments seemed to have come out of the blue, and he genuinely believed he could say what he wanted and not face any consequences. However, Adidas, the producer of his Yeezy line of footwear, has since terminated his contract.
Dave Chappelle opened his monologue by unfolding a piece of paper and reading aloud, “I denounce antisemitism in all its forms. And I stand with my friends in the Jewish community.’ And that, Kanye, is how you buy yourself some time,” which received laughs from the audience.
He added, “Early in my career, I learned there are two words you should never say together. Those words are… ‘the’ and ‘Jews.’ Never heard someone do good after they said that.”
Chappelle also used Brooklyn Nets Point Guard, Kyrie Irving, who is currently serving a 5 game ban, as further fodder for his skit. The basketball player recently landed himself in a spot of turmoil after he tweeted a link to an Amazon listing for a film that the Anti-Defamation League claims has antisemitic messaging.
The comedian said: “I know the Jewish people have been through terrible things all over the world, but you can’t blame that on Black Americans. You just can’t.”
It would be argued that Irving didn’t get a suspension for his comments because he’s a Black American, but because he made the comments full stop. He’s a high-profile figure with a large fanbase and following on social media. For him to then promote antisemitic content is something that should have consequences.
Dave ended his monologue by sort of acknowledging the criticism he received for his stand-up comedy special The Closer, the fifth of 6 specials released on Netflix, by saying “It shouldn’t be this scary to talk about anything, it makes my job incredibly difficult.”
“I hope they don’t take anything away from me, whoever they are.”
In The Closer, Chappelle made comments about the trans community, which resulted in several Netflix staff members walking out and asking for the special to be removed from the streaming platform.
Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos defended his decision to leave it up, claiming that he didn’t believe the content would actually cause any real-world harm. Sarandos sent out a company-wide email that said, “[w]ith The Closer, we understand that the concern is not about offensive-to-some content but titles which could increase real world harm (such as further marginalizing already marginalized groups, hate, violence etc.)”
“[w]hile some employees disagree, we have a strong belief that content on screen doesn’t directly translate to real-world harm.”
Watch Chappelle’s full skit here.