Dave Chappelle, besides being a comedy king, is also an intelligent person who enjoys thoughtfully stirring controversy. His SNL opening monologue didn’t disappoint.
He opened with this…
Thank you, thank you very much for being here. Before I start tonight, I just wanted to read a brief statement that I prepared.
I denounce antisemitism in all its forms and I stand with my friends in the Jewish community. And that, Kanye, is how you buy yourself some time.
I gotta tell you guys, I’ve probably been doing this for 35 years now, and early in my career, I learned that there are two words in the English language that you should never say in sequence, and those words are ‘the’ and ‘Jews.’ Never heard someone do good after they said that.
Here’s another excerpt:
I’ve been to Hollywood. And I don’t want y’all to get mad at me, I’m just telling you this is just what I saw. It’s a lot of Jews. Like a lot. But that doesn’t mean anything, you know what I mean? There’s a lot of Black people in Ferguson, Missouri. It doesn’t mean we run the place. I would see if you had some kind of issue, you might go out to Hollywood, you might start connecting some kind of lines, and you could maybe adopt the delusion that the Jews run showbusiness. It’s not a crazy thing to think. But it’s a crazy thing to say out loud in a climate like this.
Hollywood Reporter asked Jerry Seinfeld for his reaction…
“I did think the comedy was well-executed, but I think the subject matter calls for a conversation that I don’t think I’d want to have in this venue,” the comedian, who is Jewish, told the outlet.
When pressed over whether the monologue made him “uncomfortable,” the stand-up star responded, “It provokes a conversation which hopefully is productive.” (Yahoo News)
Jon Stewart, who is also Jewish, defended Chappelle by knocking down the criticism that ‘He normalized anti-Semitism with the monologue.’ […] “I don’t know if you’ve been on comment sections on most news articles, but it’s pretty normal. It’s incredibly normal.”
Stewart delivered an excellent argument in favor of controversial speech…
“But the one thing I will say is I don’t believe that censorship and penalties are the way to end anti-Semitism or to gain understanding,” he said. “I don’t believe in that. It’s the wrong way for us to approach it.”
“Dave said something in the ‘SNL’ monologue that I thought was constructive, which he says, ‘It shouldn’t be this hard to talk about things.’ “
“Whether it be comedy or discussion or anything else, if we don’t have the wherewithal to meet each other with what’s reality, then how do we move forward?”
“If we all just shut it down, then we retreat to our little corners of misinformation and it metastasizes” Stewart added. “The whole point of all this is to not let it metastasize and to get it out in the air and talk about it.” (Jon Stewart Defends Dave Chappelle)
What say you?