Dave Chappelle unleashed a barrage of jokes in his opening monologue on Saturday Night Live — and no one was safe.
The comedian opened with written remarks — as a sort of insurance to make sure he doesn’t get canceled like Kanye West.
“Before I start tonight, I just want to read a brief statement I’ve prepared,” he said. “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.”
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Chappelle noted he’s learned there are two words you should never say together — “the” and “Jews.”
“I’ve never heard anyone do good after they’ve said that,” he quipped.
He then admitted he was stunned by West’s antisemitic tirades.
“Kanye has gotten into some scrapes before and normally when he’s in trouble, I pull up immediately, but this time I was like, ‘you know what, let me see what’s gonna happen first,'” he said to laughter.
[Watch the video below]
He brought up Kanye’s infamous Oct. 8 tweet, when the hip-hop mogul threatened to go “death con 3 on Jewish people” — a controversial post that got him temporarily locked out of Twitter and contributed to Adidas dropping him.
“Ironically, Adidas was founded by Nazis and they were offended!” Chappelle said.
“Listen, I don’t think Kanye is crazy, I think he’s possibly not well,” he said, then seemingly agreed with West’s controversial remarks in an October interview when he said Jewish people run Hollywood.
“He broke the show business rules. There’s a rule, the rules of perception. 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 speak about it,” he said. “I’ve been to Hollywood and this is just what I saw — it’s a lot of Jews, like a lot. But that doesn’t mean anything. There’s a lot of Black people in Ferguson, Missouri, but that doesn’t mean we run the place.”
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The comedian also took jabs at NBA star Kyrie Irving, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker and former President Donald Trump — for moving boxes of classified White House documents to his house at Mar-a-Lago when he left office.
“Why were all those documents in his house?” Chappelle said rhetorically. “I’ve been fired from jobs many times in my life. I’ll be honest with you, sometimes when I was fired, I stole things — staplers, computer mouses, all kinds of stuff. But you know what kind of stuff I never stole from work — work!”
He ended by saying he wants to avoid the kind of trouble that caused Kanye West to lose a massive amount of money.
“I thank you for the support and I hope they don’t take anything away from me — whoever they are,” Chappelle said.
The comedian never mentioned his own controversy — over transphobic jokes in his Netflix special.
This was Chappelle’s third time hosting SNL.