Dave Chappelle spoke on several popular topics last night, but the comedian spent most of his time discussing Kanye West’s recent antisemitic comments. The one topic he didn’t discuss was his own transphobic comments.
Dave started his monologue by opening a piece of paper and reading from it. “I denounce antisemitism in all its forms, and I stand with my friends in the Jewish community,” he read. He followed up with, “And that, Kanye, is how you buy yourself some time.”
Dave said that he learned early in his career that the two words you should never use are “the” and “Jews.” He also noted that he usually would visit Kanye after being caught up in a controversy, but he decided to sit this one out.
He then went on to say that Kanye got into so much trouble and NBA player Kyrie Irving also got in trouble. Kyrie has been suspended by the Brooklyn Nets for antisemitism.
Dave then stated that while he could see why Kanye thinks the Jewish community runs showbusiness, that thought should remain private. He said, “It’s not a crazy thing to think, but it’s a crazy thing to say out loud in this climate.”
He acknowledged that the Jewish community has been through terrible things but also said, “You can’t blame that on Black Americans. You just can’t.”
Dave Chappelle’s own controversial statements
Dave is no stranger to his own controversy over words. He has, in the past, made explicit jokes about trans women and misgendered trans people during several stand-up specials he has done.
In 2021, after Netflix released his multi-million-dollar special, The Closer, LGBTQ advocates requested that the show be canned. Netflix did not pull the show from their network, and the show was nominated for two Emmy Awards.
While Dave was on tour for the release of the show, he addressed the criticism, saying that while he was willing to talk to trans advocates, he was not going to “bend” to anyone’s demands.
Dave Chappelle said that he no longer enjoys performing in front of large crowds
At the end of Dave’s monologue on SNL, he stated that he no longer enjoys performing in front of crowds “like these.” He said that people should not fear being able to talk about anything. He also said that it makes his job difficult.
Along with his discussion about Kanye, Dave did discuss the current political climate in his SNL set, along with a few comments about the war in Ukraine. But then he went back to discussing “cancel culture.”
He ended with, “I hope they don’t take anything away from me. Whoever they are.” That was the closest he got to addressing his own controversial statements.More: Dave Chappelle, Saturday Night Live