Saturday, May 18, 2024

Dave Chappelle Explores Ye’s Antisemitism and Hollywood Jews on SNL

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Following weeks of constant antisemitism from the mind and mouth of Kanye West, comedian Dave Chappelle did his best to parse it when he hosted Saturday Night Live this weekend.

After thanking the 30 Rock audience for its enthusiastic reception when he took the stage Saturday, Chappelle announced that he wanted to read prepared a statement before getting into his monologue:

“I denounce antisemitism in all its forms,” the comic said. “And I stand with my friends in the Jewish community.” After an applause break, Chappelle added, “And that, Kanye, is how you buy yourself some time.”

He was, of course, speaking of Kanye West, the manic multimedia mogul who spent much of October launching one antisemitic screed after another, ultimately getting dumped by CAA,  Balenciaga, the Gap and, eventually, German sneaker giant Adidas, which was hugely invested in West and therefore said cutting ties was “complicated.”

Chappelle—whose October 2021 Netflix special, The Closer, struck a deep vein of controversy-outrage gold and its attendant publicity for jokes some thought hateful toward the trans community—continued, “I got to tell you guys, I’ve probably been doing this thirty-five years now and, early in my career, I learned that there were two words in the English language that you should never say together in sequence. And those words,” he said, “are ‘the’ and ‘Jews.’ I’ve never heard someone do good after they said that.”

Chappelle noted that even with his long experience he was at a loss as to how to help Ye at this point.

“Kanye’s gotten into some scrapes before and normally I pull up, I pull up immediately,” he said. “But this time I was like, uh, ‘You know what? Let me see what’s gonna happen first.”

Particularly puzzling, Chappelle said, was the post that launched the whole saga, when late one October night West shared on social media that, although was feeling all-tuckered out, he had a special plan percolating for the Jews upon waking.

“Vaguely I remember it started with a tweet, a strange tweet. ‘I’m feeling a little sleepy. I’m going to get me some rest, but, when I wake up I’m gonna go death con three on the Jews!’ And then he just went to bed. I was up all night worried—what is he gonna do to the Jews?!”

Chappelle also discussed growing up around Jews, reminiscing about how some of his childhood friends couldn’t hang out on “Sha Na Na” and wondering, “Why do some of your people dress like Run-D.M.C?”

Next, Chappelle remarked on Kanye’s unwise taunting of Adidas on the Drink Champs podcast toward the end of his racist adventure.

“He was mad about something. He said, ‘I can say antisemitic things and Adidas can’t drop me. Now what?’ Adidas dropped that n—- immediately.”

Pointing out the Teutonic sneaker company’s historical ties to the Nazi war machine, Chappelle added, “And they were offended. I guess the student has surpassed the teacher.”

West’s feverish racist spewing has been largely devoted to the theory that the entertainment industry is ruled by a cabal of Jews. Chappelle said that openly expressing that sentiment is a move that “broke the show business rules of perception,” which he summed up as: “If they’re Black, then it’s a gang, if they’re Italian, it’s a mob, but if they’re Jewish, it’s a coincidence—so you should nevvv-er speak about it.”

Chappelle also addressed the recent suspension of the Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving for comments seeming to double down after he tweeted a link to an antisemitic documentary.

“Kyrie Irving’s Black ass was nowhere near the Holocaust,” he said. “In fact, he’s not even certain it existed.”

In fairness to the conspiracy theorists, the comedian granted, “I’ve been to Hollywood. I don’t want y’all to get mad at me, but I’m telling you… this is just what I saw: It’s a lot of Jews. Like, a lot.”

On the other hand, he said, “But that doesn’t mean anything, you know what I mean? There’s a lot of Black people in Ferguson, Missouri. Doesn’t mean they run the place.”

He further suggested that if a person “had some kind of issue” they might come to Hollywood and “adopt the delusion” that Jews run the place. However, he warned, “It’s not a crazy thing to think, but it’s a crazy thing to say out loud in a climate like this.”

As for Ye, Chappelle said, “I don’t think Kayne is crazy at all. I think he’s possibly not well.”

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