Dave Chappelle is, to many, the comedy GOAT – greatest of all time.
He’s arguably the most influential comic of our age, from his iconic “Chappelle’s Show” series to stand-up routines that made him an icon to both fans and his fellow comics.
And, to some writers at “Saturday Night Live,” he’s so problematic they allegedly won’t write any jokes for him.
Page Six reports that some “SNL” scribes are protesting Chappelle’s Nov. 12 hosting appearance on the long-running show.
Chappelle’s 2021 Netflix special, “The Closer,” featured jokes that some consider transphobic. The hour-plus routine ends with Chappelle paying tribute to a trans comic he got to know in her final months, but that heartfelt finale didn’t assuage those outraged by previous punch lines.
SNL Is Not The First To Deal With Chappelle Blowback
He’s been targeted for cancellation ever since, from trans activists eager to silence him to select Netflix employees outraged their bosses would air the special in the first place. His unnamed documentary project similarly suffered from the attacks, with potential distributors reversing course after the controversy exploded.
Netflix, a generally woke organization, stood by Chappelle and told employees to seek jobs elsewhere if they disagreed with the platform’s decision to keep working with the comedy giant.
That didn’t stop the attacks on the beloved comic.
Earlier this year, a legendary comedy club in Minneapolis canceled a Chappelle appearance citing outrage over his material. Another area club swooped in and invited the comedian to grace its stage instead.
The recent “SNL” announcement over Chappelle drew criticism from select trans activists, but none of the show’s (mostly new) cast members publicly howled. The folks who write the show’s sketches beg to differ, reportedly.
“They’re not going to do the show,” an insider told Page Six. “But none of the actors are boycotting.”
SNL Has A Long History Of Protests
Chappelle’s representatives insist there’s no sign of a writer walkout, but it wouldn’t be the first time the show experienced blowback for its choice of hosts.
Last year, several “SNL” players rushed to social media to criticize the decision to invite Tesla billionaire Elon Musk to host the May 8 show. Andrew Dismukes and Bowen Yang both shared their disgust with the choice via their digital accounts. Colleague Aidy Bryant shared a snarky message blasting the mega rich shortly after the Musk announcement, a not too subtle dig at the future Twitter owner.
The show, once renowned for its cutting-edge humor, is no stranger to controversy.
Singer/songwriter Elvis Costello got banned from the series for switching up his song selection during a 1977 appearance. Costello tore into “Radio, Radio,” a blistering attack on corporate media.
In 1990, cast member Nora Dunn sat out while comedian Andrew “Dice” Clay hosted the NBC series. Clay’s cartoonishly misogynistic humor made him a sensation, and his “SNL” appearance spiked the show’s ratings.
It also drew protests from GLAAD, the National Organization for Women and others offended by his vulgar on-stage shtick. Some in the live audience heckled during Clay’s monologue.
That was decades before the current Cancel Culture movement, which targets “problematic” humor both past and present.
More recently, Donald Trump’s 2015 hosting appearance attracted protests outside the show’s New York studio. Critics cited his sharp-tongued comments on illegal immigration for the outrage.
The modern “SNL” may need whatever boost Chappelle can give the wobbly franchise this weekend. Ratings are generally down this year, and the show’s increasing liberal bias has all but chased away most right-leaning viewers.