Dave Chappelle delivers controversial SNL monologue with jokes about Jewish community and Kanye West

Dave Chappelle kicked off his Saturday Night Live hosting gig with a long-winded monologue about Kanye West and antisemitism.

He nevertheless, failed to mention the controversy he has reaped for telling jokes about transgender people.

“I wanted to read a statement I prepared,” Chappelle began. “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.

“I’ve been doing this 35 years. Two words in English language words you should never say – ‘The’ and ‘Jews’. No one does good after they say that.”

West recently threatened to go “death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE”, before doubling down in a succession of antisemitic statements.

While mocking West’s statements on the Jewish community, Chappelle walked a fine line himself, saying: “I’ve been to Hollywood and this is what I saw: It’s a lot of Jews. It’s a lot. But that doesn’t mean anything. There’s a lot of Black people in Ferguson, Missouri, but that doesn’t mean we run the place.”

Dave Chappelle on ‘SNL’ (NBC)
Dave Chappelle on ‘SNL’ (NBC)

He continued to make risqué comments about the Jewish community, saying: “If they’re Black it’s a gang. If they’re Italian it’s a mob. But if they’re Jewish it’s a coincidence and you should never speak about it.”

After speaking on NBA star Kyrie Irving’s own antisemitism controversy, Chappelle added: “I know the Jewish people have been through terrible things all over the world, but you can’t blame that on Black Americans.”

Chappelle has become a polarising figure in recent years, thanks to his recent stand-up specials that critics have described as transphobic.

One report suggested that SNL writers were boycotting the show over Chappelle hosting, however, the comedian’s representative said there was “no evidence” of this.

The backlash to Chappelle’s remarks about trans people has previously led to venues cancelling scheduled stand-up performances. Earlier this year, plans to name a high school theatre in Chappelle’s honour were abandoned at the comedian’s request following an outcry among students.

Chappelle has nonetheless continued to tour extensively, and his special The Closer was recently nominated for an Emmy.