Saturday Night Live: Best moments from Dave Chappelle’s return

Dave Chappelle (Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY NETWORK)
Dave Chappelle (Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY NETWORK) /

Comedy legend Dave Chappelle returned to once again host the post-election episode of Saturday Night Live

Dave Chappelle’s first time hosting Saturday Night Live was in 2016, just days after the presidential election. His performance was met with excellent reviews, and he received particular praise for the way he handled the news of Donald Trump’s election. So it was fitting that SNL turned to Chappelle this week in the wake of another presidential election.

What made Chappelle’s performance in 2016 standout was that he took the election seriously, but of course, still managed to find the comedy in it. The popular sketch “Election Night” is a great example of this.

Chappelle would go on to win his first Emmy award for his performance in that 2016 episode. Therefore, expectations for Chappelle were high when he returned to host the post-election show in 2020.

Here are the highlights from Chappelle’s highly anticipated return episode.

SNL with Dave Chappelle highlights: Biden Victory Cold Open

This was, without a doubt, the best cold open of the season. It was well structured, and simply put, it had a lot of good jokes. It was particularly impressive considering that the event it was based on happened just hours before SNL aired

I was also really pleased when Alec Baldwin’s Trump sat down at the piano. I won’t spoil anything for you, but I’ll just say that I really enjoy when Saturday Night Live is able to make fun of itself.

SNL with Dave Chappelle highlights: Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben

This was by no means a brilliant sketch, but it certainly made me chuckle. While Saturday Night Live was a little late to the party with jokes about Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben, Maya Rudolph and Kenan Thompson are just so funny and likable that I still enjoyed this sketch.

Dave Chappelle’s impression of the All-State guy was legitimately impressive and it killed me when he broke character to make fun of Pete Davidson.

SNL with Dave Chappelle highlights: Take Me Back 

The premise was simple but ripe for comedy: a man (Beck Bennett) shows up on the doorstep of his ex-girlfriend (Ego Nwodim) and begs her to take him back. The writing was clever, fast-paced, and genuinely took me by surprise multiple times.

However, the reason this sketch was so good was because of Bennett’s performance. His commitment to the role was so strong that I genuinely believed this utterly ridiculous character was a real person.

The best part? Definitely the revelation about Bennett’s age.

SNL with Dave Chappelle highlights: Weekend Update

“Weekend Update” was electric this week. Colin Jost and Michael Che already have an excellent rapport, but it feels like their chemistry is constantly getting better. They played off of each other so well tonight and they both brought a fantastic energy to the segment. The only negative was how short it was!

The best moments:

  • Che’s callback to his joke from last week, in which he and Colin take opposite sides in an impending race war.
  • Che’s tie.
  • Colin barely holding it together while watching Kate McKinnon’s Rudy Giuliani impression.

SNL with Dave Chappelle highlights: Hailstorm

I think this might be my favourite sketch of the season so far. I honestly don’t have that much to say about it, but it had me laughing out loud. It was cute, silly, weird, and full of excellent jokes. Give it a watch and tell me you didn’t laugh at the jokes about the wooden nickel.

Final thoughts on SNL with Dave Chappelle

  • What a good show! There were too many good moments to even include them all in this review. To name just a few, Chappelle’s monologue and the Super Mario sketch were both quite funny.
  • There was an unusual amount of breaking tonight (Maya Rudolph in the cold open, Pete Davidson in “Aunt Jemima”, Colin and Kate during “Weekend Update”). I think the cast was just genuinely happier than usual tonight. I wonder why.
  • It was a little strange how little Dave Chappelle was in the episode. After his monologue, at least four commercial breaks went by before Chappelle appeared on screen again. I would have thought SNL would have wanted to use him as much as possible.
  • It’s sad that there won’t be a new episode next week. I think we got spoiled with six straight new episodes in a row to start the season.

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What did you think of Dave Chappelle’s performance? What was your favorite sketch of the night? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.