Actor and comedian Dave Chappelle made his Saturday Night Live debut this weekend, taking on race, politics and the fallout of the 2016 Presidential Election in a way that few are able to do.

He spent nearly his entire 10-minute opening monologue focused on President-elect Donald Trump, ultimately wishing him luck, but not before sharing his experience as an African-American in Washington, D.C. [Editor’s note: language has been censored].

“A few weeks ago, I went to the White House for a party. BET had sponsored the party, so everyone there was black, and it was beautiful,” he described. “I walked through the gates, and I saw the bus stop – or the corner where the bus stop used to be – where I used to catch the bus to school, and dream about nights like tonight.

“Now, I’m not sure if this is true, but to my knowledge, the first black person who was officially invited to the White House was Frederick Douglass. They stopped him at the gates. Abraham Lincoln had to walk out himself and escort Frederick Douglass into the White House. And it didn’t happen again, as far as I know, until [Theodore] Roosevelt was president. When Roosevelt was president, he had a black guy over, and he got so much flak from the media that he literally said, ‘I will never have a n—– in this house again.’

“I thought about that, and I looked at that room, and I saw all those black faces, and I saw 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.”

Chappelle took a more humorous angle on the election in a skit about a Democrat viewing party for election results. The living room mirrored that of many others on Election Night, beginning with tremendous optimism, including predictions that it would be a “historic night.” As the evening progressed and the mood darkened, Chappelle pointed out the absurdity in what his friends were saying.

Midway through the skit, he was joined by fellow actor/comedian Chris Rock, who helped articulate the real meaning of the moment (video via NBC):


Here’s a recap of their best replies, which foreshadowed the ultimate result of Trump winning the presidency over Hillary Clinton:

At 6 p.m.:

Cecily Strong: “Guys, we’re about to have our first woman President. Like, this is going to be a historic night.”

Chappelle: “Yep. Yeah, it might be a historic night, but just don’t forget that it’s a big country.”

At 6:30 p.m.:

Aidy Bryant: “Well, she’ll (Clinton) definitely win the Electoral College, for sure, but I guess there’s like a nightmare scenario where he wins the popular vote.”

Chappelle: “Really? That’s your nightmare scenario, huh?”

Beck Bennett: “Because of shifting demographics, there might never be another Republican president in this country.”

Chappelle: “Word. You ever been around this country before?”

At 10 p.m.:

Chris Rock: “Hey guys, what did I miss?”

Bryant: “Trump might actually win.”

Rock: “I mean (laughs)…of course. What are you talking about?”

Chappelle: “I tried to tell them, man.”

Strong: “What is happening? Why are women even voting for him?”

Rock: “Yeah, I don’t get you ladies. I mean, the country is 55 percent women. I mean, if the country was 55 percent black, we’d have tons of black Presidents. I mean, Flava Flav would be President.”

At 11 p.m.:

Bayer: “OK, well all she has to do is come back and win Wisconsin, come back and win Michigan, come back and win Pennsylvania.”

Strong: “And some of the counties that are still…the urban counties are…black people vote late!”

Rock: “Yeah, let’s hope there’s 100,000 of us in Green Bay. Brothers love the Packers!”

At 12 a.m.:

Strong: “Oh my God. I think America is racist.”

Chappelle (mockingly): “Oh my God…y’know, I think my great grandfather told me something like that, but he was a slave or something, I don’t know.”

Bryant: “I just can’t believe it. Why aren’t people turning out for Hillary the way they did for Barack Obama?”

Rock: “I mean, maybe because you’re replacing a charismatic, 40-year-old black guy with a 70-year-old white woman. I mean, that’s like the Knicks replacing Patrick Ewing with Neil Patrick Harris.”

At 2 a.m.:

TV Announcer: “And Donald Trump has been elected President of the United States.”

Chappelle: “Yeah, you guys were right. It was a historic night. But don’t worry about it. Eight years are gonna fly by.”

Rock: “Yeah, don’t worry. Everything is gonna be all white.”

Bryant: “But what about undocumented immigrants?”

Chappelle: “They’re not going nowhere. C’mon, you’re acting like everybody’s trying to pick their own strawberries.”

Strong: “This is crazy. I mean, do you even know what it’s like to be a woman in this country? Where you can’t get ahead, no matter what you do.”

Chappelle: “Oh geez, I don’t know. Let me put my thinking cap on, I’ll get back to you.”

Rock: “Now, come on guys, get some rest, you got a big day of moping and writing on Facebook tomorrow.”


In the final exchanges of the skit, some of the comments mirrored those that showed up in Facebook feeds on Tuesday night and throughout the week. Bennett’s character’s final thoughts: “This is the most shameful thing America has ever done.”

At this point, Chappelle and Rock just looked at each other and laughed.



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