Washington D.C native and Comedian Dave Chappelle returned on the post-election edition of Saturday Night Live. Chappelle returned as host to tackle Joe Biden being declared President-Elect in the 2020 Election, President Trump, COVID-19, mass shootings caused by white people and racism in true Chappelle-style comedy. It was amazing 16 minute opening monologue in perhaps the history of SNL. This was Dave Chappelle’s return to Saturday Night Live since the 2016 post-election of Saturday Night Live when Donald Trump won his first term to become the current sitting President.

Dave Chappelle began his monologue, started his monologue, which you can check out below, by talking about his great-grandfather whom he never got a chance to meet but heard about throughout his life, was a slave for 10 years before learning to read and refocusing his life on three principles, education, freedom of his fellow African Americans and Jesus.

“It was a pretty amazing story my great-grandfather had, and I thought about him all day because I wish I could see him now,” Dave Chappelle said. “And I wish he could see me. Because I wonder what he would say.”

I’ve watched Chappelle’s comedy for perhaps my entire young adult life as I was first introduced to him at the age of 21 going on 22. I’m now 39 going on 40. I mention this particularly for newer folks because I’ve seen enough Dave Chappelle to know how he can come at you from out of nowhere with a very serious thought-provoking story, and suddenly take you quietly to a guided left or right turn for the punchline of his joke. His story about was great-grandfather validates that point as he noted his classic series comedy series Chappelle’s Show is now streaming on HBO Max and Netflix. A show that bear’s his great-grandfather’s name. “If he could see me now, he’d probably be like, ‘This n—- got bought and sold more than I have,’” he said.

From there he spoke about a buddy of his in London who touched base earlier in the day about how the world will be “a safer place now that America has a new president.” Dave Chappelle responded “America doesn’t.”

“Do you guys remember what life was like before COVID?” he asked members of the audience. “It was a mass shooting every week. … Thank god for COVID! Something had to lock these murderous whites up, keep them in the house.”

Dave Chappelle also took time to offer reflections on performing stand-up comedy during the pandemic in corn fields by his home out in Ohio (from this work the now infamous 8:46 video which you can watch clicking here). Despite keeping the town active and vibrant somewhat thanks to his actions, neighbors complained about his shows being too noisy.

“They had a whole Zoom meeting about me,” he said. “‘My kids are trying to sleep and all they hear is the n-word.’ I said, ‘Was I saying it or were you?’”

Perhaps the best joke of the entire night though that I know had me in tears but many of friends that tune to SNL was how he didn’t understand why “poor white people” don’t want to wear masks: “You have no problem wearing them at the Klan rally, wear them to Walmart too.”

From there Chappelle brings up a fair comparison about people getting paid more from a stimulus check than their actual paychecks thus not making one not want to work to black people and Ronald Regan during his years as President as he used to claim Black people were “welfare people and drug addicts. Who does that sound like now?

“We’re trying to move forward, these white n—– holding us back. Don’t want to wear your mask? Try wearing the mask I’ve been wearing all these years,” he said. “I can’t even tell something true unless it has a punchline behind it. You guys aren’t ready. You aren’t ready. You don’t know how to survive yourselves. Black people, we’re the only ones who know how to survive this. Whites, come, hurry quick; come get your n—- lessons. You need us. You need our eyes to save you from ourselves.”

“I thought the guy was at least an optimist,” Chappelle said of Trump now that he’s out of office which got a few groans and barely a reaction as he quickly had to remind the audience Trump wasn’t optimist and “There are bad people on both sides”. Unless you’ve followed Dave Chappelle for a couple of years it can be hard to figure out when he’s being sarcastically funny and dead serious. He had them right back in the palm of his hands when he called Trump a “racist, hilarious son of a bitch” for calling the coronavirus the “Kung Flu.”

“Donald Trump’s a wild guy,” he said, referencing how he was taking poor guesses on handling the coronavirus pandemic. “How about some bleach? Some bleach directly in our body. Oh boy, the Secret Service is going to have to childproof the White House now … ‘Mr. President, don’t touch that stove, it’s hot; turn those scissors around, Mr. President, if you’re going to run around the house.”

Trump getting COVID-19 was “hilarious” Dave Chappelled gleefully said because it “was like when Freddie Mercury got AIDS; nobody was like, ‘Well how did he get it?’ This guy was running around like the outbreak monkey; he looked like a 1970s penis just raw-dogging Earth.”

Chappelle challenged the audience to ask themselves what type of leader lets people fight and die on his watch while all he cares about is himself and his brand. “A white man,” he said. “I don’t mean to put this on the whites, but I’ve been Black a long time, I’ve noticed a pattern.

“But if you’re a good white and you actually want to help then join me,” he continued. “My plan is called the kindness conspiracy — random acts of kindness for Black people. Do something nice for a Black person just because they’re Black, and you’ve got to make sure they don’t deserve it … the same way all them years they did terrible things to Black people just because they’re Black and they didn’t deserve it.”

He also referenced his 2016 SNL appearance when he hosted and how bad it felt for people that Hillary Clinton would not become the 45th president. He linked that moment in 2016 to the present as he reminded the audience that half the country feels like that now and that being a humble winner is important. At the same time the life expectancy of white Americans is dropping due to suicide, crimes, and drug addiction. Addressing the “white anguish” that comes with feeling like no one understands, he said he promises he does know how that feels.

“But here’s the difference between me and you: You guys hate each other for that, and I don’t hate anybody. I just hate that feeling. That’s what I fight through. That’s what I suggest you fight through,” he said, telling people to find “joy in your existence despite that feeling. And if you can’t do that, come get these n—- lessons.”

A great opening monologue for Dave Chappelle the reminds me how much of a great comedic genius he is and just why he won the Mark Twain award for American Humor. Chappelle appeared in a SNL skit as the ALLSTATE voice actor who was in danger of losing his job along with Uncle Ben and Aunt Jemima, which you can watch below. It was hilariously funny as the great Maya Rudolph, Chappelle, and even Pete Davidson broke characters. It reminded me tremendously of the SNL days when Chris Farley and Adam Sandler would do skits together. So many times Chris would get the best of Sandler and as result he’d break character which made Chris break character a bit. When that happened you got a funny, memorable segment. Which is what we got with Maya, Chappelle, and Davidson.

I appreciate greatly Lorne Michaels, the creator and producer of Saturday Night Live in continuing to give Dave Chappelle the creative freedom in execution on SNL and understanding deeply where Chappelle is coming from. As we know Lorne in the past has banned folks from ever appearing on his show when he feels they were in the wrong. Cypress Hill lighting a blunt on stage, Elivis Costello, Sinead O’ Connor, the list goes on and on and on of bans. History has shown that when you give Dave Chappelle maximum creative freedom to breath and be himself without any restrictions, you’re guaranteed funny, memorable, and teachable moments all while he’s appearing those around him bring their best A-game. This weekend’s SNL is a prime example of that.

From one D.C native to another it continues to put a smile on my face to see Dave Chappelle continue to go to the beat of his own drum while breaking new ground. All while continuing to stay true to himself and to his art. At this point you’re probably ready to see even more Dave Chappelle. If you’ve never checked out Chappelle’s Show and you have Netflix or HBO Max then check it out. I recommend Season Two, Episode 12: The Wayne Brady Show of Chappelle’s Show. That may sound confusing but you’ll understand when you watch that episode. To this day one of my all-time favorites!

Saturday Night Live” airs live coast-to-coast Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. ET / 8:30 p.m. PT on NBC.

Follow the writer of this article Lee Sanders on Twitter @TheRCWRshow and check out The RCWR Show with Lee Sanders Mondays at 11pm ET live on YouTube.com/TheRCWRshow or listen to the podcast on on-demand and downloads wherever you get your podcasts

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