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Highlights (and Lowlights) from the Dave Chappelle Hosted 'SNL'

By Dustin Rowles | TV | November 13, 2022 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | November 13, 2022 |


Cold Open — The open is a Fox News parody in which the morning show folks melt down about the lack of a red wave, disown Trump, and embrace Ron DeSantis. Cecily Strong’s Kari Lake also talks about the crooked election, except when the votes go in her favor. James Austin Johnson’s Trump tries to salvage the bad news, and I guess we’re just going to have to get used to the fact that Trump isn’t going to go away on SNL anytime soon. As a liberal, it’s a very satisfying sketch, but only marginally funny. (Watch Here) (Score: 5 out of 10)

Dave Chappelle — Chappelle spends a lot of the monologue making fun of Kanye’s antisemitism without actually denouncing or disagreeing with Kanye’s antisemitism (in fact, he low-key “jokingly” agrees with some of Kanye’s bullshit). My Jewish kids hated it: “He’s just trying to put the bad press on Kanye instead of himself.” The Trump jokes were borderline insightful but also weirdly sympathetic, and the notion that Ukraine is Home Aloneing Russia is amusing. The 15-minute monologue, however, features a lot of the rambling that has characterized his stand-up in recent years, so even when there is a nugget of comedic wisdom, you have to dig through a lot of noise to get there. “Why does he get 15 minutes, when Amy Schumer only got 7, and Lizzo only got 5?” my kids ask. “It’s too long.” My non-binary child demands that I score it a (0 out of 10), and so that’s what I’m going to do, although Chappelle does manage to avoid making any transphobic jokes.

Potato Hole — Heidi Gardner and Mike O’Brien host an afternoon talk show where Chappelle plays Willie T. Hawkins, a musician promoting his new album Potato Hole. No one knows what a “Potato Hole” is, but everyone has a great time joyfully speculating about what a Potato Hole might be until they actually find out what it is, and damn. Smart. (Score: 7.5 out of 10)

House of Dragon Season 2 — Chappelle brings some friends (including Ice T and Donnell Rawlings) and some old characters (including Tryone Biggums) to parody the use of Black people on House of Dragon, a sketch that is funniest before Chappelle’s characters start making appearances. (Score: 6 out of 10)

Barbershop — It’s a Black barbershop where all the Black barbers complain about politics, but even when the one white barber agrees, he agrees in the wrong way. It’s a mediocre sketch, but I really like Michael Longfellow; he gives this whole show some refreshingly creepy vibes. (Watch Here) (Score: 5.5 out of 10)

Weekend Update — A lot of groaners from Che tonight (but he almost makes up for it with an outstanding University of Kentucky joke), and honestly, it’s like the material they had to work with this week was too good and they cracked under expectations. Marcello Hernández plays Jose Suarez, a Cuban politician who doesn’t understand what Americans have to complain about. He’s good. The Amazing Sarah Sherman also gets her own segment to make jokes about herself, which I hope is a low-key audition for her to take over “Update” next season when Che and Jost finally leave (presumably). Sherman gets an 8, Hernández gets a 6.5, and the rest of “Update” is about a 5 out of 10.

Black Heaven — Oh no: Mikey Day “fills in” for Dave Chappelle in a sketch about Black Heaven while Chappelle sits off to the side with his friends and laughs at the white guy playing him. It’s really good, and the Mat sketch of the week. (Score: 7 out of 10)

Please Don’t Destroy — The Please Don’t Destroy guys get an assist from Steve Kornacki himself to explain how Molly Kearney accidentally got elected Attorney General of Ohio. Well done! (Score: 6.5 out of 10)