This Saturday’s episode of the long-running NBC comedy series marks the comedian’s third time hosting. On Thursday, SNL released promos touting Chappelle’s appearance, including one clip that appeared to poke fun at the social media backlash surrounding the recent announcement of his return.
After Chappelle announces that he is hosting with musical guest Black Star, castmember Ego Nwodim is seemingly confused and asks, “Wait, we’re doing it live?” When Chappelle confirms that they are, she responds, “With you?”
Chappelle responds, “Obviously,” leading Nwodim to fire back, “In this news cycle?” Upon the Chappelle Show star’s confirmation, Nwodim pointedly responds, “Interesting.”
In a different spot, Chappelle quips that he will be hosting “in an episode that’s so Black, it’s gonna be on BET.”
Chappelle’s selection spurred criticism in light of his controversial jokes centered on the transgender community from his 2021 Netflix special The Closer. The New York Post reported this week that some SNL staff writers have chosen to sit out the episode, citing an unnamed source, although the comedian’s representative told the outlet that there has been “no evidence of a boycott.”
It was widely reported that SNL writer Celeste Yim, who uses they/them pronouns, had recently posted a message to their Instagram stories that seemingly referenced Chappelle’s planned appearance. “I’m trans and non-binary. Transphobia is murder and it should be condemned,” read Yim’s message, according to a screenshot shared to Reddit.
All three of Chappelle’s SNL hosting appearances will have aired less than a week after a national election, with his most recent taking place Nov. 7, 2020.
Saturday Night Live airs Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. on NBC.
Dave Chappelle Pokes Fun at “News Cycle” Surrounding His ‘SNL’ Hosting Gig