Comedian Dave Chappelle has gotten caught up in the the fallout over Kanye West’s social media comments last month that were blasted as antisemitic.
During an appearance on Saturday Night Live on Nov. 12, Chappelle delivered a monologue in which he joked about the controversial West situation. Now, the Anti-Defamation League has spoken out against Chappelle’s jokes.
But it seems Chappelle knew he might cause a stir. The SNL guest host switched his monologue, as per usual, when he appears on the show. The one he performed during rehearsals was much tamer than the one he presented live, Page Six reported.
A source told Page Six: “Dave does a fake monologue during the dress rehearsal because he doesn’t want [‘SNL’ creator] Lorne Michaels, or anyone else, to know what his real monologue is.”
Chappelle, who is an ally of West, didn’t give his opinion of the West backlash but made jokes about West, Jewish people, the recent midterm elections, the war in Ukraine, and Donald Trump during his nearly 15-minute routine. Also, as per his usual standup, Chappelle’s SNL appearance was unfiltered and uncompromising.
The Anti-Defamation League spoke out against the routine.
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The ADL is an international Jewish non-governmental organization that fights antisemitism and bias.
“We shouldn’t expect @DaveChappelle to serve as society’s moral compass, but disturbing to see @nbcsnl not just normalize but popularize #antisemitism. Why are Jewish sensitivities denied or diminished at almost every turn? Why does our trauma trigger applause?” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt asked in a tweet.
“Before I start tonight, I just wanted to read a brief statement that I prepared,” he started off. “I denounce antisemitism in all its forms, and I stand with my friends in the Jewish community.”
He quipped, “And that Kanye is how you buy yourself some time.”
He didn’t stop there, adding, “Early in my career, I learned that there are two words in the English language that you should never say together in sequence. And those words are ‘The’ and ‘Jews.’ I’ve never heard someone do good after they’ve said that.”
“Adidas dropped [him] immediately,” Chappelle said. “Ironically, Adidas was founded by Nazis and they were offended! I guess the students have passed the teacher.”
Chappelle went in on how West didn’t play by the rules. “He had broken the show business rules,” Chappelle said of West. “You know, the rules of perception. If they’re Black, then it’s a gang. If they’re Italian, it’s a mob. If they’re Jewish, it’s a coincidence and you should never speak about it.”
Chappelle hosted SNL twice before; the last time was following the 2020 election in which Joe Biden defeated Trump, who was vying for a second term as president. Before that, he hosted the show after Trump won the 2016 presidential election, The Hollywood Reporter reported.
Dave Chappelle performs during a theater dedication ceremony honoring the comedian and actor, and to raise funds to support Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, June. 20, 2022. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)