Dave Chappelle Gave SNL A Fake Monologue Ahead Of Rousing Appearance?

Dave Chappelle may have given Saturday Night Live a dummy script and performed in rehearsal before delivering his controversial monologue.

By Sckylar Gibby-Brown | Published

One of the most controversial hosts to have appeared on Saturday Night Live recently, Dave Chappelle is stirring headlines again. Last week, it was reported that some of the writers from SNL were boycotting their own show rather than work with the comedian, and now the internet is outraged by how Chappelle performed while hosting. However, according to Page Six, what we saw from Chappelle’s live monologue was not what the producers were expecting, as he had performed a “fake” monologue during the dress rehearsal.

Dave Chappelle was already stirring headlines before his appearance on the sketch comedy series last week simply by being selected to host the show. Chappelle has hosted SNL twice before, once in 2016 and again in 2020, but both times were before the release of his Netflix comedy special, The Closer, in 2021. In the show, Chappelle made jokes widely alleged to be transphobic and homophobic, which subsequently got him targeted by cancel culture and is why audiences and SNL writers alike were furious when the comedian was selected to host on November 12.

dave chappelle
Dave Chappelle on SNL

According to Page Six, Dave Chappelle did a “fake” monologue during the SNL dress rehearsal because he didn’t want the producers and SNL creator, Lorne Michaels, to know what his actual monologue would say. Apparently, the dress rehearsal speech included a joke referencing an SNL writer who refused to work with him this past week, and the joke caused tensions to rise between the comic and the SNL team. 

Previously, in retaliation to the rumors of writers sitting out on the episode due to Chappelle’s involvement, Chappelle’s representative said that there was no reason to believe a boycott was actually happening.

However, Dave Chappelle’s real monologue that aired on NBC omitted the joke about the writer and instead included comedy rooted in anti-Semitism. “I denounce anti-Semitism in all its forms and stand with my friends in the Jewish community,” Chappelle opened his 15-minute speech by saying. “And that, Kanye, is how you buy yourself some time,” he added, the joke referencing Kanye West’s recent antisemitic tirades.

Dave Chappelle’s monologue continued with the theme as he joked about basketball star Kyrie Irving being banned from the NBA after sharing an antisemitic movie, shared tropes of Jewish executives in Hollywood, and joked about Jewish holidays.

In response to his monologue, critics are claiming that Chappelle’s speech is popularizing antisemitism. Jewish activist Rudy Rochman argued that Chappelle’s monologue was a “meticulous and calculated” move meant to normalize antisemitism, and Time Out New York Theater editor claimed that Chappelle did more damage to the movement to stop antisemitism than Kanye has.

Others, however, have defended the comic. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Jerry Seinfeld said that he thought Dave Chappelle’s comedy was “well-executed” though he hoped it would create a productive conversation. 

Jon Stewart also made similar comments in response to Chappelle’s speech on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, saying that censoring did more damage than good and he thought talking about these things was a better approach to end antisemitism.