Dave Chappelle trumped Saturday Night Live’s previous monologues this weekend.
The veteran comedian, who made his highly-anticipated hosting debut Saturday, took to the stage to thunderous applause and cautioned the studio audience, "I know it’s been a long time, so please be patient."
But Chappelle didn’t waste a moment of his debut, launching into an incisive and wide-ranging opening monologue that addressed the election, mass shootings and police brutality.
"You know, I didn’t know that Donald Trump was going to win the election,” Chappelle said. "I did suspect it. Seemed like Hillary was doing well in the polls and yet, I know the whites. You guys aren’t as full of surprises as you used to be."
"But America’s done it — we’ve actually elected an Internet troll as our president," he continued, adding "I haven’t seen white people this mad since the O.J. verdict… I’m not saying I’m enjoying it. I’m just saying I’ve never seen this before. I watched a white riot in Portland, Oregon, on television the other night. The news said they did $1 million worth of damage. Every black person was watching it like, 'Amateurs.'"
After quipping on the polarizing reaction to Trump clinching the presidency, Chappelle noted that the election outcome wasn’t the most pressing crisis facing our nation, instead pointing to mass shootings like the Pulse nightclub attack and the staggering rate of police-involved shootings, which spurred the Black Lives Matter movement.
"There’s more shootings that I can literally count," Chappelle said. "You can’t even go to the (expletive) zoo without seeing a shooting this day. They shot a gorilla in my local zoo! And the Cincinnati police said, 'Shooting that gorilla was the toughest decision this department ever had to make.' I said, 'Well, you 'bout to see a lot of n----- in gorilla costumes in Cincinnati."
Chappelle is neither hiding from nor shrinking at the idea of Trump taking office in January. In a solemn conclusion to his monologue, he wished the president-elect luck and expressed his hope that Trump would keep the White House doors open to people who had been historically shut out.
"I think it’s important that I say that because they’re marching up the street as we speak," Chappelle said, referring to anti-Trump protesters. "A few weeks ago, I went to the White House for a party. It was the first time I had been there in many years and it was very exciting and BET had sponsored the party ... and I saw all those black faces — and Bradley (Cooper) — and I thought about how happy everybody was, these people who had been historically disenfranchised. And it made me feel hopeful and it made me feel proud to be an American and it made me very happy about the prospects of our country. So, in that spirit, 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. Thank you very much."