It’s been a long time coming. Dave Chappelle hit the Saturday Night Live stage Nov. 12, for one epic and hysterical set. And in just his opening act alone, the comedian left the audience in real tears.
Chapelle pulled all the stops for his opening monologue, beginning with commentary on the presidential election. While he noted most people were surprised by Donald Trump’s victory, the comedian said he knew one thing about Election Day that others may not have. “It seemed like Hillary was doing well in the polls, but I know the whites,” he joked.
The 43-year-old also poked fun at the number of white Americans furious about the election results, saying he hadn’t seen “whites this mad since the O.J. verdict. “I’m not saying I’m enjoying it. I’m just saying I’ve never seen it before. I watched a white riot in Portland, Oregon on television the other night. The news said they did a million dollars’ worth of damage. Every black person was watching that like, ‘amateurs,’ ” he continued.
As the live audience continued to crack up, Chappelle moved right along to commenting on the Black Lives Matter Movement. “Why do we have to say Black Lives Matter? Now I admit it’s not the best slogan, but McDonalds already took ‘You Deserve a Break Today.” He even plugged a joke about Harambe, explaining how America’s frustration over the shooting of a gorilla trumped the slaying of black bodies. “They shot a gorilla in my local zoo. And the police department said, ‘Shooting that gorilla was the toughest decision this department has ever had to make,” he said. “I said, ‘Well you about to see a lot of n****s in gorilla costumes in Cincinnati.'”
But ending on a more serious note, Chappelle recalled his time visiting the White House not too long ago. He remembered seeing all of the “happy” black faces, who had been “historically disenfranchised,” and feeling proud of the progress that the country had made. So looking to the future of Trump’s presidency, the comedian wished the president-elect well, and hoped he will continue to build on what Obama will be leaving behind. “I’m wishing Donald Trump luck, and I’m going to give him a chance. And we, the historically disenfranchised, demand that he give us one too,” he concluded.
Although it was pretty hard to follow, A Tribe Called Quest also livened up the SNL stage with a colorful set of new and old hits. The surviving members Jarobi White, Q-Tip, Ali Shaheed Muhammad first performed “We The People,” with a mural of the late Phife Dawg hanging in the background. For their second set, they delivered their single, “The Space Program” from the latest album We Got It From Here, Thank You 4 Your Service, which dropped only the day before (Nov. 11). For that performance, they received special assistance from Busta Rhymes and Consequence.
Check out Dave Chappelle’s opening skit and A Tribe Called Quest’s performance on Saturday Night Live right here.