As Dave Chappelle returned to host Saturday Night Live on Saturday, November 12, the comedian offered pointed advice to Kanye West.
“Before I start tonight, I wanted to read a brief statement that I prepared: ‘I renounce antisemitism in all its forms and stand with my friends in the Jewish community.’ And that, Kanye, is how you buy yourself some time,’” Chappelle, 49, began his 15-minute SNL monologue. “I got to tell you guys, I’ve been doing this 35 years and early in my career, I learned there are two words in [the] English language words you should never say together in sequence. And those words are ‘The’ and ‘Jews.’ Never heard someone do good after they say that.”
The Yeezy designer, 45, sparked controversy last month after sharing a slew of antisemitic social media messages, in which he shared false conspiracy theories and claimed he wanted to go “death con 3” on individuals of the Jewish faith.
“I will say I’m sorry for the people that I hurt with the ‘death con’ [comments],” West later said during an October 19 appearance on Piers Morgan Uncensored, apologizing for his remarks. “I feel like I caused hurt and confusion. And I’m sorry for the families of the people that had nothing to do with the trauma that I had been through, and that I used my platform where you say hurt people hurt people. I was hurt.”
The Chicago native’s initial statements were posted in retaliation after he was heavily criticized for wearing a “White Lives Matter” shirt to his Yeezy presentation during Paris Fashion Week. West has since fervently defended his sartorial choices as “art.” However, his actions have been publicly condemned by celebrities, social media users and corporations. Balenciaga, Adidas, Gap and Vogue magazine have all cut ties with the “Heartless” rapper, while SNL has continued to call out his actions during its broadcasts.
“I was up all night [after reading his first tweets] worrying what is he trying to do to the Jews?” the Chappelle Show alum recalled during his monologue on the late-night variety series. “I grew up around Jewish people [and] I have a lot of Jewish friends, so I’m not freaked out by your culture. I know a little bit about it just by hanging around.”
He continued: “[Kanye] broke show business rules, you know the rules of deception. If they’re Black, then it’s a gang. If they’re Italian, it’s a mob, but if they’re Jewish [then] it’s a coincidence and you should never speak about it.”
While the “Stronger” artist has not publicly addressed Chappelle’s SNL remarks, the Washington, D.C. native thought the rapper could be “possibly not well” after his actions.
“I’ve been to Hollywood, 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, [it] doesn’t mean they run the place,’” Chappelle said on the sketch series. “If you have an issue, you might go out in Hollywood and you might start connecting some kind of lines and you might adopt the delusion that Jews run show business. It’s not a crazy thing to think but it’s a crazy thing to say out loud.”
The You’ve Got Mail actor’s Saturday appearance — alongside musical guest Black Star — marked his third time hosting the iconic comedy series. While he was excited to return this week, multiple reports surfaced that alleged SNL writers were not thrilled by his return after his previous transphobic comments in his October 2021 standup special on Netflix. (Chappelle has not publicly apologized for his remarks, though admitted that he “[loved]” being canceled after receiving a standing ovation at the Untitled: Dave Chappelle Documentary premiere.)
Despite potential backlash to his SNL gig, Chappelle did not address the scandal during Saturday’s episode but alluded to the difficulty of mentioning hot-button issues.
“It shouldn’t be this scary to talk about anything. It’s making my job incredibly difficult and to be honest with you, I’m getting sick of talking to a crowd like this,” the Half Baked star concluded his monologue. “I love you to death and I hope they don’t take anything away from me — whoever they are.”
Saturday Night Live airs on NBC Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. ET.
For more, watch the clip above.
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