For one thing, his stand-up set monologue (see below for more information on that) ran longer than usual, but for another, he returned to the stage at Studio 8H to deliver introductions to some of the sketches.
The comedian and former host of his own sketch show (Chappelle's Show, Metascore: 74) returned to Studio 8H for the third time (just like fellow comedian and headliner of her own sketch show Amy Schumer did last week). He previously hosted in 2016 and 2020, winning an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for both performances. The Emmy win for the former was his first career Emmy win.
This time, his appearance on the show came with additional controversy, as his most recent standup special, The Closer, which was released in October 2021 (and yes, also subsequently won an Emmy — for Outstanding Variety Special (Pre-Recorded), includes a misgendering a transgender comedian, jokes about trangender bodies, and defense of TERFs.
On SNL, Chappelle started his monologue by reading a statement he prepared: "I denounce antisemitism in all its forms, and I stand with my friends in the Jewish community." Putting away his paper, though, he added, "And that, Kanye, is how you buy yourself some time."
So, rather than comment on his own controversy, he leaned into the artist formerly known as West's and also Kyrie Irving's.
"Kanye's gotten into some scrapes before. Normally when he's in trouble, I pull up immediately, but this time I was like, 'You know what? Let me see what's going to happen first,'" he said before recounting the Tweet that started the most recent issue, his appearances on Drink Champs, and his lost deal with Adidas.
"He broke show business rules," he said. "The rules of perception: If they're Black, then it's a gang; if they're Italian, then it's a mob; if they're Jewish, it's a coincidence and you should never speak about it."
"I've been to Hollywood. I don't want y'all to get mad at me, this is just what I saw. It's a lot of Jews. Like, a lot," he continued. "But that doesn't mean anything. There's a lot of Black people in Ferguson, Mo.; it doesn't mean we run the place. I could see if you had some kind of issue, you might go out to Hollywood and you might start connecting some kind of lines, and maybe you could adopt the delusion that the Jews run show business. It's not a crazy thing to think. But it is a crazy thing to say out loud in a time like this."
And since politics were on the mind because election results were still being finalized in many states, Chappelle also discussed Herschel Walker and the "end of the Trump era" in his monologue.
"He's what I call an honest liar," Chappelle said of Trump. "I've never seen a white, male billionaire screaming at the top of his lungs, 'This whole system is rigged.' And across the [debate] stage was a white woman — Hillary Clinton — and Barack Obama looking at him like, 'No it's not.' Wait a minute, bro. It's what he said! ... Nobody had ever seen somebody come from inside that house and tell all the commoners, 'We are doing everything that you think we are doing inside that house.'"