Dave Chappelle Keeps It Real During Saturday Night Live Appearance, “I Know the Whites” [Watch]
Saturday Night Live knew what America needed after a disappointing election–to laugh again.
On Saturday, (Nov. 11), the long-awaited episode that featured legendary comedian and Chappelle Show host, Dave Chappelle hosting for the first time with Hip Hop icons A Tribe Called Quest performing. Despite the show kicking off by avoiding the usual direct criticism of now President-elect, Donald Trump, Dave Chappelle opened his initial monologue more pointed with criticism of the election result reactions saying, “It seemed like Hillary [Clinton] was up in the polls, but I know the whites.”
While most of the media seemed shocked by Trump’s win, Chappelle wasn’t surprised, a reaction that he channeled into his first skit, with an appearance by none other than fellow legendary political comedian Chris Rock, titled “Election Night”.
As if the night couldn’t get any more epic, A Tribe Called Quest hit the stage with their first performance, performing the song, “We The People”, a politically charged song that excoriates complacency in the face of xenophobia, racism, and homophobia. The performance, which noticeably was missing the charisma of Phife, ended up as an on-air tribute to the Hip Hop legend as the group unfurled a banner featuring the rapper’s face among a piece of art. The camera zoomed in on Phife as his verse played in the background, delivering a chilling effect to the song before Jarobi and Q-Tip danced their way back into the frame.
For those of us who missed the Chappelle Show, Dave did his own tribute to the show and beloved characters during his “Walking Dead Chappelle’s Show” skit, which featured characters Tyrone Biggums, Chuck Taylor, Clayton Bigsby, the Time Travelling Haters and Lil Jon facing death as Negan decides who he’s going to off. Eventually, Chappelle’s Negan chooses to kill Tyrone Biggums. After the baseball bat decapitates him, however, Tyrone’s head comes rolling back, and does, in fact, have its own political message to declare:
“Even though our country seems irrevocably severed, like a man from his head, let my example prove that we should continue to move forward.” In some ways, the bizarre, genre-bursting sequence seemed like a proper response to such an insane week. Tyrone notes, “I’ve only got two weeks until they take away my health care.”
The final performance of the night featured ATCQ performing “The Space Program” with special appearances by Busta Rhymes and Consequence, which was the best way to end an amazing show. Still paying tribute to Phife, the group performs the second track off of their final album, We Got it From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service.
During an interview with the New York Times, Q-Tip spoke on him and Phife Dawg mending their often-fractious relationship, stating that he was unaware that things were that critical with Phife’s health.
“I had no idea that his days was numbered,” Q-Tip told the New York Times. “I just want to celebrate him, you know.”
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