Dave Chappelle Hosts SNL & The Timing Could Not Have Been Better (Video)
Tonight (November 12), Dave Chappelle hosted Saturday Night Live. It was the first time for the brilliant comedian whose Chappelle’s Show gave SNL, and every other sketch comedy show, a run for its money as the best of all-time, and his appearance could not have come at a better moment. As the country still reels from an election that has fractured it in two, there are few people gifted with the type of incisive and intelligent humor possessed by Chappelle. Not surprisingly, he used those talents to analyze the events of the last 2 years and, if not make sense of them, at least envelope them in sharp and satirical wit.
Putting the election aside, Dave’s training as both a stand-up and sketch comedian made him an ideal fit for SNL. His influence on the skits was easily noticed as the trademark SNL schtick was infused with a healthy dose of Chappelle’s bite. Right out of the gate, he orchestrated a painfully accurate re-enactment of an election party, and the see-saw of emotions that accompanied it. Sitting in a room filled with liberal Whites, until Chris Rock joined, he listened as the chatter went from celebration, to hope, to utter disbelief that there were racists in America…And, to the delight of Chappelle’s Show fans, some of his most beloved characters from the show resurfaced, including Black racist Clayton Bigsby, crackhead Tyrone Biggums, and more, as part of an elaborate spoof on The Walking Dead. Even in the land of Neegan and Rick Grimes, Trump still managed to rear his orange head.
Election Night w/Chris Rock
As adept as Chappelle is in sketches, however, his first love and greatest abilities lie in standup. Even greats like Chris Rock and Kevin Hart have spoken about being humbled by his comedic brilliance. In an opening monologue that lasted 10 minutes, Chappelle gave his unique take on a number of topics, including Trump, ISIS, mass shootings, Black Lives Matter, gentrification, taxes and Obama. While by no means are any of those topics inherently funny, Dave spun them into an exalted form of gallows humor. By the end, he concluded on a serious note, saying that he intended to give Trump a chance, but hoped that Trump would give those who do not subscribe to his ideals a chance, too.
As if Chappelle’s appearance, alone, was not enough to provide some much needed salve on politically-inspired wounds that continue to fester, he was joined by musical guests, A Tribe Called Quest, who performed both “We The People” and “The Space Program”, from their just released final album, We Got It From Here…Thank You For Your Service. Just like Chappelle’s appearance in these troubling times, Tribe’s performance was bittersweet, in the absence of fallen member, Phife Dawg. In all, however, the show was a reminder of the impact that brilliant art can have on us all.