How Saturday Night Live Seemingly Poked Fun At Dave Chappelle's Controversies Ahead Of His Latest Hosting Gig

Dave Chappelle on SNL
(Image credit: NBC Universal)

This past week saw a number of people buzzing about the upcoming episode of Saturday Night Live, which features comedian Dave Chappelle. A number of commentators appeared surprised that the sketch comedy show would ask the funnyman back at this point in time. Over the past year, Chappelle has made headlines for sharing controversial takes in some of his latest standup routines. Whether or not Chappelle actually discusses the backlash he’s received at some point during the show remains to be seen. But ahead of his latest hosting gig, he and SNL itself did seem to poke fun at his controversies. 

As it does with every new episode of SNL, NBC released a promo that teases what’s to come. This latest advert, which was shared to Twitter, sees Dave Chappelle alongside music guest Black Star and series cast member Ego Nwodim. In the second variation of the advert, Nwodim questions whether the show will indeed be happening live with Chappelle. And when the star confirms that will be the case, the actress responds with only one word. Check it out: 

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Saturday Night Live has made fun of itself from time to time and points out critiques that the public makes. The back and forth between the two stars in the video seems to be a clear reference to the situations that have arisen with the Chappelle’s Show veteran as of late. Despite the show’s apparent self-awareness though, there are likely still people who take issue with its decision to tap the comedy performer for this latest episode. 

The A Star is Born alum got into hot water in October 2021 following the release of his sixth and final Netflix special, The Closer. The comedian drew backlash for telling jokes that were perceived as being transphobic. Company head honcho Ted Sarandos addressed the situation, saying that the content would not be taken down, as the streamer didn’t believe that it “crosses that (hate speech) line.” After this decision was announced, there was an internal email leak involving communications from Sarandos, who had attempted to explain to employees why the program wasn’t going to be removed. The exec subsequently apologized for how things went down. 

The comic’s comments have led to blowback on multiple fronts. Earlier this year, Dave Chappelle was set to have a theater named after him at his high school, The Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington D.C. However, following a testy Q&A with students, Chappelle suggested giving the theater a new name. (That decision was commended by fellow comedian Anthony Anderson.) 

In the lead-up to Dave Chappelle’s third run as host, it was rumored that some would boycott this week’s SNL. A source claimed that some writers decided not to participate in the episode, though no cast members are said to be sitting it out. As Ego Nwodim opined, this is going to be an “interesting” installment of the show, and one can’t even begin to predict how things will go down. Though if the recent promo is any indication, there’s at least a slight chance that Chappelle will address the headlines that have surrounded him as of late.

He’ll take to the stage at 30 Rockefeller Plaza when Saturday Night Live airs tonight at 11:30 p.m. ET on NBC as part of the 2022 TV schedule.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.