SNL Digest: Dave Chapelle (11/12/16)

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- "Dave Chappelle" Episode 1710 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jarobi White and Q-Tip of musical guest A Tribe Called Quest pose with host Dave Chappelle (center) on November 10, 2016 -- (Photo by: Rosalind O'Connor/NBC)

Dave Chapelle brought catharsis and humor to SNL when I wasn’t sure I was fully ready to laugh.

It’s been a weird week, y’all.  I honestly wasn’t sure I was going to be ready to laugh at SNL this week, even with someone like Dave Chapelle as host.  Then again, seeing how SNL reacts to country-changing events (like 9/11, or, more recently, the bombing in Paris) is important.  I found their episode featuring the President-Elect last year one of their least funny episodes I’ve ever seen, but ever since they received massive amounts of flack for that, they’ve been going harder in their political humor, particularly with the new head writers this season.  I’m still not sure I fully have my sense of humor back, but last night’s episode was cathartic in the right way, and I keep SNL keeps pushing further.


I thought this was going to be a straightforward Leonard Cohen tribute, and then it was this, and it was a weirdly lovely moment.  “Hallelujah” is overcovered as heck, and yet this was oddly touching. An excellent merging of losses this week.


Dave Chapelle’s standup proved to be wonderfully cathartic.  SNL always does well when they have a comic hosting the show by getting the heck out of their way for ~10 minutes and just letting them talk.

Election Night

I had to leave the election night results party I was at around 10:00 because I realized I was getting reeeeeally stressed out and needed to process things alone.  I don’t have any tie-in between that and this wonderful sketch, but I thought I’d just put that here.

The Walking Dead

The intro from Dave made this feel like Chapelle’s Show on NBC, and this was a great way to capitalize on that.

Weekend Update

  • “…and sometimes you’re barfing in your own face”
  • The “drain the swamp” joke, y’all.
  • I’ve missed Kate McKinnon’s Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Jheri’s Place

This went meta IMMEDIATELY (down to a Davis S. Pumpkins reference) and I loved it.

Kids Talk Politics

Short and sweet.

Last Call

Oh, but this character from Kate is good every time.

Love and Leslie

Another meta sketch – this documentary style worked to the point where I thought it was going to go a serious direction about Leslie’s love life.

Football Party

Leslie Jones almost losing it in this sketch made this (kinda gross) premise even better.



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About Ben Smith 252 Articles
Ben has been writing about TV, music, and pop culture in some form or another since 2009, including stints at Mental Floss and Temporary Obsession. When not solving puzzles of some sort or consuming pop culture at a frightening pace, he can be found collecting shiny pieces of the internet at E-mail: