SNL Season 42 review: Was Dave Chappelle funny?

Credit: NBC/SNL
Credit: NBC/SNL /

Dave Chappelle hosted SNL this weekend, providing the therapy and catharsis we needed after Donald Trump was elected President.

The presidential election this past week drained Americans, whether you voted for Donald Trump or you cast your vote on the other side of hate. People who don’t hate their fellow Americans of color were absolutely gutted by the results of the election, and were in need of something to help us articulate how we feel.

Thankfully, Dave Chappelle was slated to host Saturday Night Live this weekend, and it was the therapy we so desperately needed. It was cathartic in so many ways to not only have Chappelle back in our lives doing sketch comedy but also to have him being a voice we badly need in wake of learning that this is soon to be Trump’s America.

It was one of the best episodes of Saturday Night Live; not of this season — in the history of the show. The episode almost acted as a surrogate Chappelle Show episode, as we saw classic characters brought back and scathing comedy that made both Chappelle’s Comedy Central show and vintage SNL so important in the political satire realm.

Here are the skits and moments you need to know about from Dave Chappelle’s night on SNL:

SNL Rundown…

1. We all wondered how Saturday Night Live would tackle the election, specifically in regards to Kate McKinnon’s Hillary Clinton. What we got was a touching and heartfelt tribute to both Hillary Clinton and the late Leonard Cohen.

2. The real moment we had been waiting for all night was Chappelle’s monologue. It marked the first time that he’d be making remarks about Donald Trump getting elected president, and it was a moment we needed. He wasted no time in diving right in, and it was everything.

3. The first skit of the night was fire as well. The premise focused on a real life look at what white people were saying on election night, and featured an assist from Chris Rock.

4. One of the best skits on the night was packed full of nostalgia. Chapelle brought back classic characters from his Comedy Central show, including crack addict Tyrone Biggums and black white supremacist Clayton Bigsby.

5. The Weekend Update was one for the ages tonight. Michael Che is usually one of the best things about the show, but tonight he was on fire.

6. Props to Colin Jost as well for nailing his chemistry with Che. There have been nights where the two bounce off  each other but this seemed to be the best it has ever been — we need more of this in Trump’s America.

7. Kate McKinnon also dropped by in a very cathartic Ruth Joan Bader Ginsburg cameo. Given that McKinnon is a gay female who works in the arts — all direct targets in Trump’s America — the jokes about Mike Pence, Trump and his supporters felt even more hilarious and scathing.

8.  Chappelle couldn’t miss tonight, even on skits that didn’t totally land. The breast feeding skit with Leslie Jones was the perfect amount of weird to end the show with, cracking up both Pete Davidson and Keenan Thompson.

9. The skit where Leslie Jones and Kyle Mooney are dating, and he grows jealous of Colin Jost, was amazing. It’s been a while since we’ve seen a Kyle Mooney digital short and this was up there with the best of them.

10. We’d be remiss — and blind — if we didn’t mention A Tribe Called Quest. The rap  group came to SNL promoting their new album, but left a mark on us with their performance. It involved everything from a Busta Rhymes cameo and a powerful tribute to Phife Dawg.


Simply put, Chappelle nailed it. That so drastically understates how amazing this show was tonight, as this was one of the best episodes of Saturday Night Live that we’ve ever seen. We all knew it would be a great episode when Chappelle was announced as host, but the man single handily took this season and elevated it to another level.

Here’s where this episode stacks up against the others that we’ve seen this season:

1. Dave Chappelle/A Tribe Called Quest — A+
2. Tom Hanks/Lady Gaga — A-
3. Benedict Cumberbatch/Solange — B-
4. Margot Robbie/The Weeknd — C+
5. Lin-Manuel Miranda/TwentyOne Pilots — C-
6. Emily Blunt/Bruno Mars — D+

 Next Week on SNL…

It’s going to be hard as hell to top what was without a doubt one of the finest episodes of Saturday Night Live ever. Kristen Wiig has the task of following Chappelle’s show, as she takes up hosting duties next week with musical guest The XX.

Date: November 19th
Host: Kristen Wiig
Musical Guest: The XX
TV Channel: NBC
Live Stream: Stream 1 | Stream 2

Be sure to check out Last Night On for all your SNL highlights.