Dave Chappelle Hosts SNL: Watch Video of the Night's Best Sketches

There was plenty of anticipation going into this weekend’s Saturday Night Live following Donald Trump’s stunning victory to become the 45th president of the United States.

Along with host Dave Chappelle, perhaps best known for the second most beloved sketch comedy series of all time, Chappelle’s Show, the Not Ready for Primetime Players put together a stunning 90 minutes that both spoke to those still upset by Hillary Clinton’s ill-fated candidacy, and those ready to move on and give President-elect Trump a chance to govern.

Sure, there was a clear left-leaning bias with a cold open that mourned Clinton’s loss, but it doubled as a beautiful tribute to the late Leonard Cohen, who Kate McKinnon honored with a touching rendition of “Hallelujah.” And then came Chappelle’s thought-provoking monologue, which not only discussed the devastating trend of mass shootings and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, but ended with Chappelle wishing Trump the best of luck before asking that he give the “historically disenfranchised” the benefit of the doubt, too.

What followed was a series of sketches that both poked fun at the naïveté of select voters heading into the Nov. 8 election, and offered words of hope for the future of our nation.

BEST: ELECTION NIGHT
Chappelle and Chris Rock played the only black attendees at an Election Night viewing party, having to deal with a group of naive, white voters who were sure Hillary had this presidency in the bag. In the end, Rock hilariously explained how the Democrats managed to lose: “You’re replacing a charismatic, fortysomething black guy with a 70-year-old white woman. I mean, that’s like the Knicks replacing Patrick Ewing with Neil Patrick Harris.”

RELATED SNL: Kristen Wiig to Return as Host — Find Out When!

BEST: THE WALKING DEAD
Chappelle revived a bevy of Chappelle’s Show characters — including Tyrone Biggums, Silky Johnson, Chuck Taylor and Lil Jon — and got to play the menacing Negan in this parody of TV’s top-rated drama. After his beheading, Biggums, somehow still able to speak, broke the fourth wall to explain how our severed country can once again come together as one unified nation by learning to laugh together. Oddly inspirational words for a known crack addict!

BEST: WEEKEND UPDATE
As terrific as it was to see McKinnon’s Ruth Bader Ginsburg again, most impressive were Colin Jost and Michael Che, who were better than they’ve ever been as Update anchors discussing Trump’s victory. Echoing the message from the “Election Night” sketch, Che spoke of how the country is more segregated than ever in terms of leftist and right-leaning ideologies, and how that played a hand in liberals not thinking a Trump presidency was feasible. Jost, who has frequently been hit on by a certain cast member, had the best one-liner of all: “America is like Leslie Jones: addicted to white guys.”

RELATED If Jon Stewart Had Not Stepped Down From The Daily Show, Hillary Clinton Would Most Likely Be President

BEST: LOVE AND LESLIE
Kyle Mooney and Jones were great in this short film (are we still calling them Digital Shorts in the post-Andy Samberg era?) about a budding romance between the repertory players. Lorne Michaels chiming in to champion the relationship just so Mooney could lose his virginity was as perfect a moment as they come. Perhaps even better was Chappelle’s reaction when he realized Mooney and Jones had just sex in his dressing room.

kate-mckinnon-hallelujah-snlBEST: ‘HALLELUJAH’ COLD OPEN
What else can be said? McKinnon’s performance was positively spellbinding. It was both the perfect way for SNL to address Clinton’s loss without mocking Trump supporters, and an excellent tribute to Cohen. It was flawless, really. (Watch it again here.)

What were your favorite sketches of the night? And what missed the mark? Grade the episode via our poll, then hit the comments and make your picks.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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37 Comments
  1. TV Gord says:

    I was worried that Dave wouldn’t be treated well by the often-substandard writing, but this was the most consistently funny and entertaining edition of SNL in many, many years! I can’t remember the last time I actually laughed aloud (and hard) at this show! Election Night and Th Walking Dead were clearly the best, and I’m glad you didn’t feel the need to arbitrarily choose something to be the worst. Even the bar sketch at the end was funny. I laughed at it, even though I was kind of ashamed that I did. :-D Great job by everyone involved in tonight’s show!

  2. LAwoman says:

    Chappelle was so good. I didn’t realize how much I had missed him. The cold open was amazing.

  3. MLPR says:

    Was the cold open supposed to be a joke? Serious question.

    • Kelly says:

      It’s a fair question. I don’t think slit was supposed to be a joke. I have to admit, I was waiting for some kind of punch line at the end. But Kate McKinnon seemed very sincere throughout the song even though she was dressed as Hillary. SNL has been so Pro-Hillary throughout this election season that it would make sense that they would be in mourning. I’m guessing it was a way for them to kill two birds with one stone.

      • MLPR says:

        Thanks:) I was hoping someone else felt as I did. I was also waiting for some kind of punchline or quip at the end, but it was so somber. Jeez….she was really crying and everything.

        • Tru says:

          Like I said to that dbag Eric below, I think it’s upsetting for her and many others because this country chose a man who plans to wipe out the rights of many women and gay people, which Kate is both. It’s kinda scary for some folks. Even though Trump was both pro choice and pro gay marriage years before, now he has to appeal to the alt right, who still cannot grasp that religion and politics should not be interconnected.

          • MLPR says:

            Yes, I really do get that. I get that people are scared and uncertain. But it’s SNL. It’s supposed to be funny, not sad. Plus she was dressed like Hillary, so I thought maybe it was supposed to be funny, but she took it in a different direction? I just didn’t get it. I got Dave Chapelle, but not Kate.

    • Eric says:

      No. it was just a liberal show unable to accept reality.
      It’s sad really. If she had won you know Alec Baldwin would have been there to do a skit. It’s just sour grapes because Americans are tired of Liberal hate of America.

      • Tru says:

        Go away Eric go far far away please. Kate a gay woman living in America is about to get many of her rights taken away from her, I think the piece stands for itself.

      • Katrinka says:

        Eric, you do realize that –
        A) You’re not required to watch SNL &
        B) Fox News is a 24 hour channel. Go watch things that make you happy, life is too short.

      • Horatio Sand Dollar says:

        Dope. There a difference between the left and the right, and what’s right and what’s wrong. SNL is not a liberal show. It’s simple right vs wrong pov.

    • KatsMom says:

      No. SNL has a history of somber openings on occasion. Sometimes, the seriousness of the situation just calls for a serious response. Given that this was also a tribute to Leonard Cohen, who passed away this week, it was definitely not intended to be humorous.

      • MLPR says:

        It felt humorous because it was in costume. If you want to be taken seriously, don’t dress in costume like it’s Halloween.

        • KatsMom says:

          I think that something needs to be judged in its entirety. There was nothing in the delivery, setting, or words, that indicated it was meant to be humorous. Entertainment news outlets each covered the cold open, and the overwhelming majority noted things like “SNL strikes somber tone” and “SNL presents serious opener.” And, as the headlines show, sometimes it’s much more effect to skip the cheap punchlines and speak from the heart. The point of the costume was made clear at the end, “I’m not giving up, and neither should you.” That’s the point they wanted to make, and without Kate in the costume, it was impossible to do.

    • Luis Roman says:

      It was a loving tribute to Leonard Cohen and Kate McKinnon’s personal tribute to Hillary Clinton. I thought it was perfect.

      • MLPR says:

        You guys keep saying it was a moving tribute. For you, it might have been. Either way, my original question was answered several times, so thank you. I still don’t get the costume. I was waiting to laugh at some sort of email comment, then she started crying. It was weird for me. I didn’t think it was appropriate for her to wear the costume if she was trying to be serious. One more thing…Leon Russell died today. Is she going to do a tribute to him next week?

        • TV Gord says:

          First of all, she was dressed as Hillary, so it wasnt a “costume”, it was a pant suit.

          Second, Leon Russell is not dead. It was a hoax. That’s been one of the big problems of this election campaign, not-so-incidentally; both sides were posting stories filled with lies from sites passing themselves off as legitimate media. DON’T believe everything you read on the internet!

  4. jon anthony says:

    “…Stirring…”? “…Stunning…”? mmmNeither.

    I watch SNL for the hopes of a laugh at the end of my tough week. Still waiting.

  5. Alyson says:

    SNL was great last night. It’s been a pretty solid start, especially compared to seasons past. It did feel a tad hypocritical though, considering this is the same show that had Trump host last season.

  6. Jamie says:

    This will go down as one of my all time favorite episodes. Bravo to everyone involved. Kate McKinnon, I can’t praise you enough; you were awesome. Also loved the weekend update and The Walking Dead. Chappell and Chris Rock hit all the right notes. Great show from beginning to end.

  7. Kelly says:

    I thought it was a pretty good episode. Much better than last week, although not as good as the one with Tom Hanks. I do have one gripe. How come they had Vanessa Beyer do the interview with the kids? No offense to her, but they totally should have had Beck Bennett do it considering he did those AT&T commercials few years ago.

  8. Kevin says:

    I give it the Dave Chappelle episode of SNL an A+. The cold open and several others were absolutely the best I’ve ever seen including an appearance by Chris Rock and Kate McKinnon is by far one of my favorite female cast members on SNL of all time and she’s definitely at her best when it comes to character. Wonder what will happen next week when Kristen Wiig returns to her old stomping grounds as host.

  9. Raftrap says:

    Best SNL of the season, hands down. (Sadly I still can’t stand Colin and Che, they try so hard, and I really want it to work, but Weekend Update has always been its own beast and it desperately needs new blood).

  10. Luis Roman says:

    Easily the best SNL in ten years. I was blown away by Kate McKinnon in the cold open. Chappelle’s monologue was classic. It was clear Dave was experiencing some jitters being back on TV but his monologue was epic and perfect. I wondered which, if any of the “Chappelle’s Show” characters would be revived; reviving all the great ones together in that “Walking Dead” sketch, and having Dave introduce it like a “CS” sketch was brilliant. I thought it was the best “Update” since Colin and Michael were paired. A Tribe Called Quest, together again? Unbelievable.

  11. JTD says:

    Unbelievably gutsy way to open the show, defying all expectations. Kate had a great voice. I was as surprised by this as anything I’ve seen on SNL in 42 years.

  12. karyduncan says:

    Dave Chappelle is just brilliant. The ‘Election Night’ skit just blew me away – not just in the mordacious humor about it, but in the raw, profound SOCIETAL truths he so confidently, casually – and SO artfully condescendingly – sliced through and laid bare. Dave transcends the typical, feckless attempts at comedy and brings back the scathing wittiness … the artsiness and class … in his perspectives. Nothing more i can say really, than ~ see first sentence. :-)

  13. Jules says:

    Beginning to end, one of the best episodes of SNL ever done. I was worried a bit for Dave because the pressure on him to deliver the way people are used to must have been huge. He was brilliant. I feel like everybody stepped their game last night, whether it was because of a wealth of material after an election or because of Dave, I’m not sure but it was a great show. And Tribe?? The perfect musical guest for this episode.

  14. chiguy79 says:

    Have to admit, I enjoyed the “Inside SNL” skit, especially Dave’s comment about trying to be the next David S. Pumpkin. That was a nice callback. Overall a great episode and so great to see Dave on TV again.

  15. violacello says:

    The jeopardy sketch was painful. The Chapelle character reprise sketch, for me, transformed into an elaborate parable explanation of why/how he left his show. Pressured as to content (control of his own characters), finally successfully severed from his own ideas (his head). Tries to escape mentally with more of his own humor (head rolling), then when that doesn’t work, asks for help from his body and his body reunites with his head and they escape (to Africa).