Comedian Dave Chappelle returned to the public eye on “Saturday Night Live” and he was as edgy as ever. In his opening, he answered the questions of his fans in regards to America and President-elect Donald Trump. It appeared that there was no time delay on the broadcast and NBC allowed Chappelle to drop the n-word during the show.
The start of his routine set the tone for the entire night and it was going to be a controversial and timely comedic takedown. Chappelle stated:
Chappelle stated, “You know, I didn’t know that Donald Trump was going to win the election. I did suspect it. 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. And I think I speak for all of Black America when I say that we are all praying for Omarosa. I don’t even know what she’s doing in the news. But America’s done it. We’ve actually elected an Internet troll as our president.”
Chappelle touched on major subjects that included police shootings, Black Lives Matter and Harambe the gorilla. He delivered scathing remarks that included the bombshell n-word during a national broadcast:
“There’s more shootings than I can literally count. You can’t even go to the goddamn zoo without seeing a shooting out there. They shot a gorilla at my local zoo. And the Cincinnati Police said ‘Shooting that gorilla was the toughest decision this department has ever had to make.’ I said, ‘Well, you about to see a lot of n—– in gorilla costumes in Cincinnati’.”
Later during the show, Chappelle allowed his fans to see some familiar characters from his TV show. In a send up of the popular AMC series “The Walking Dead,” fans saw crack head Tyrone Biggums, The time Haters, newscaster Chuck Taylor and blind White supremacist Clayton Bigsby. During the routine, Chappelle also takes on the role of Negan and beats Tyrone with a barbwire wrapped baseball bat.
The show that night featured musical guests A Tribe Called Quest and a special appearance by Busta Ryhmes and Consequence. The skits that night included a bar skit with Chappelle tongue kissing a White woman in a funny yet cringe-worthy routine. Chris Rock also made an appearance in an Election Night watch party skit with Chappelle that delivered some memorable moments.
It is quite possible that NBC will face FCC fines for use of some of the language during the show. Perhaps it was a risk that the network was willing to take as the episode definitely pushed the edge. Chappelle’s use of the n-word on national TV is also bound to create controversy in today’s heated racial climate. His use of the word was not liberal in nature and was in line with his previous statements regarding the banning of the word among comedians. But in the vein of iconic comedic Richard Pryor, it was timely in its use.