Dave Chappelle returned to TV last night to host the first post-election SNL in the most pressurized scenario imaginable. With Donald Trump as the President-Elect, protesters in the streets, and the country divided, Chappelle had to wring laughs out of a tense, seemingly unfunny situation. And yet, the former star of his own excellent Comedy Central sketch show strode on stage with the confidence of a seasoned performer. "I know it's been a long time," the somewhat reclusive comedian said. "So please be patient."
There was no need for patience: Chappelle killed. "America's done it, we've actually elected an internet troll as our president," he said towards the beginning of his set. In the 10-minute monologue, he touched on Trump, the Pulse nightclub shooting, ISIS, President Obama's legacy, and even delivered a perfect hot-air balloon joke. The set was a reminder that Chappelle is still an essential and hilarious comedic voice in America.
After describing a memorable night spent in the West Wing of the White House filled with other black people (and Bradley Cooper for some reason), Chappelle ended on a note of hope. "I'm wishing Donald Trump luck and I'm going to give him a chance," he said towards the end of his set. "And we, the historically disenfranchised, demand he give us one too."
Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email, and get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.