Comedian Dave Chappelle didn’t mention the controversy swirling around his hosting “Saturday Night Live” this week during the show’s monologue — but he did poke fun at the backlash rapper Kanye West is facing.

Chappelle’s appearance reportedly sparked a boycott from some of SNL’s writers stemming from jokes he made about trans people in a 2021 Netflix special.

He started with a prepared statement and an apology, but it wasn’t what some might have expected.

“I denounce anti-Semitism in all its forms and stand with my friends in the Jewish community,” Chappelle said.

“And that, Kanye, is how you buy yourself some time.”

Chappelle not only took aim West but Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving over anti-Semitic statements in recent weeks.

Dave chappelle delivering monologue.
Chappelle takes aim at Kyrie Irving and Kanye West controversy during SNL monologue.

“I’ve been doing this for 35 years and something I learned early in my career, is there are two words in the English language you should never say together in sequence: ‘The’ and ‘Jews,’” he said.

Chappelle said Kanye is “possibly not well,” but doesn’t think he is crazy.

The third-time SNL host alluded to his controversial special, saying he didn’t want to make any deals because it would be taken away the minute he said something crowds didn’t like, much like how Adidas ended its partnership with West.

“It shouldn’t be this scary to talk. It’s making my job incredibly difficult,” Chappelle said, saying speaking in front of crowds like SNL scares him now.

Talib Kweli and Yasiin Bey of musical guest Black Star with host Dave Chapelle and Ego Nwodim
Talib Kweli and Yasiin Bey of Black Star with Dave Chapelle and Ego Nwodim.
Rosalind O’Connor/NBC via Getty

The show also tackled former President Donald Trump’s eroding support within the Republican Party in its cold opening, with faux “Fox and Friends” hosts dumping Trump in a skit.

“We’re finally free,” Mickey Day as Steve Doocy said after pushing Donald Trump off the screen. “Change is finally on the horizon.”

Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt (Heidi Gardner) and Brian Kilmeade (Bowen Yang) broke the news to the former president (James Austin Johnson) that he was no longer welcome on the show because he “lost.”

Earhardt held up several news covers from the past Election week, one of which was The New York Post’s Thursday cover of Trumpty Dumpty. which said the former President had “a great fall.”

“I am having a great fall. I had a great summer as well. Some people are saying I’ll have a great winter,” Johnon’s Trump said from the middle of his daughter’s Mar-A-Lago wedding.


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Tyler Cowan