Saturday Night Live: Dave Chappelle, A Tribe Called Quest
November 12, 2016 11:12 PM - Season 42, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Host: Dave Chappelle, Musical Guest: A Tribe Called Quest

  • Hillary Sings Hallelujah - Kate McKinnon
  • Opening Monologue - Dave Chappelle
  • Election Night in America - Vanessa Bayer, Beck Bennet, Aidy Bryant, Cecily Strong, Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock
  • The Walking Dead - Dave Chappelle
  • Tribe Called Quest - We The People
  • Weekend Editiion - Michael Che, Colin Jost
    • Ruth Bader Ginsburg - Kate McKinnon

  • Jerryy's Place - Leslie Jones, Aidy Bryant, Dave Chappelle, Kenan Thompson, Mikey Day, Kyle Mooney, Beck Bennet, Bobby Moynihan, Alex Moffat

  • Kids Talk Politics - Vanessa Bayer, Dave Chappelle

  • Donnelly's - Kenan Thompson, Dave Chappelle, Kate McKinnon

  • Tribe Called Quest - The Space Program

  • Leslie Jones & Kyle Mooney - Leslie Jones, Aidy Bryant, Kyle Mooney, Lorne Michaels, Beck Bennet, Alex Moffat, Dave Chappelle, Sasheer Zamata

  • Breast Feeding - Dave Chappelle, Alex Moffat, Kenan Thompson, Pete Davidson, Kyle Mooney, Leslie Jones

posted by DizzyOnBugSpray (22 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
The cold open was not was I expected, but hit me right in the feels. I'm glad they let Chappelle be Chappelle for the monologue. Election Night was SNL at its best. Tribe was amazing. And I loved that the front row of the goodnight was so black. But. I expected more. Dave Chappelle and A Tribe Called Quest the weekend after Trump was elected? I wanted it to be brutal. And instead, we got that weird breast feeding skit. Strong start, weak AF ending, which is pretty much par these days.
posted by Ruki at 11:24 PM on November 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Dave Chappelle was amazing, a breath of where the fuck has he been, the world has been needing him.
A Tribe Called Quest were also fantastic. I agree that the breastfeeding sketch totally bombed and it was pretty funny how badly they fucked it up considering it came after the whole meta "commentary on how this sketch went wrong" sketch.
I was sort of torn about the cold opening. The celebrating/mourning/remembering of Leonard this week has been a balm for me, a reminder of why I love the country I live in and a much-needed distraction from the horror show of FUCK YEAH USA; so while I understand the sentiment, dragging him into an American political deal really kind of bugged me. I feel like he's ours, you know? Use a fucking Springsteen song or something.
posted by chococat at 11:42 PM on November 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


The whole episode had a vibe of 'woah his is really fucked up but wakka wakka that's America, it'll be ok give the Donald a chance.'
posted by ian1977 at 5:19 AM on November 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


There were parts of this I really liked. That cold open was brilliant and beautiful and mournfully resolute. I cried, and I needed it.

But, all the same, there's this thread of sexism going through so much of the show. The Night of the Election made me angry, the way it portrayed women. This election has made me very done with men talking about women.
posted by meese at 8:12 AM on November 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


meese, you seem really tuned into things in a way that might help make things clearer for me. Could you be more specific about which lines or interactions were the most troubling for you?
posted by amtho at 10:20 AM on November 13, 2016


I didn't feel any wakka wakka at all. Not every sketch was about the election. Fair enough. The show isn't CNN. But the election was more than addressed. I personally would not have said a damn word about giving Trump a chance, because I think it's very obvious what he is. That was the only thing that didn't sit well with me. I know it was a setup for Chappelle to say marginalized people demanded a chance. But it still didn't feel right to me. Trump starts out with an F in my book.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:47 AM on November 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


I thought this was an above average episode. Fewer and longer skits were mostly good, though I had to hide my face a little bit on the goofily extended tongue battling in the bar skit. Tribe was incredible.
posted by rhizome at 11:30 AM on November 13, 2016


I think that was the most emotion-inducing cold open since the first one after 9/11.

The election returns-watching sketch sounded a lot like reading the Metafilter election thread was that night. Are there some SNL writers around here?

Not sure I like hearing Dave quote "I'm Every Woman," even as a joke. What, they couldn't get the rights to "I am Woman"? I think that song would have made about as much sense coming from him. I hardly think Chappelle is a feminist or even feminist-adjacent. It was good to see him back though.

Q-tip doesn't seem to age. I know he's been around for a while but I didn't realize he's on the downslope of his forties.
posted by fuse theorem at 11:54 AM on November 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


Chappelle's Show briefly coming back through an SNL skit about The Walking Dead is yet another surreal moment for 2016.
posted by Apocryphon at 3:39 PM on November 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


amtho, I won't presume to speak for meese, but the thesis of the sketch seemed to me to be summed up in the exchange that starts with "Do you even know what it's like to be a woman in this country?" The response is played for laughs -- ha ha, a white woman thinks she is familiar with discrimination even though she's talking to a black man! -- as though no one in the writers' room had ever heard of intersectionality, met a woman of color, or been able to simultaneously believe two things are bad without needing to quantify and rank them.
posted by telegraph at 4:57 PM on November 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


I was hoping Tribe would do Scenario when I saw Busta Rhymes join them on stage. But I guess like so much of 2016, it wasn't meant to be.
posted by cazoo at 7:17 PM on November 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


telegraph -- yes!!! it's like they forgot that Leslie J and Sasheer Z are also in the cast. apparently intersectionality too challenging for the writers to relate? way to show your true colors yet again, SNL.

Chappelle's Show reimagining Walking Dead was definitely pretty fun.

had mixed feelings about the opening maybe similar to chococat. love Kate McKinnon, enjoyed her Hillary portrayals. and she can play piano! and it was still charming and moving, song lyrics somewhat appropriate once you extrapolate. but I *loved* Leonard Cohen, and I really wish they either (a) hadn't dragged him into our political muck, or (b) still did the open or whatever, but *at least* showed a photo of him afterward? or before some commercial break at least? like, seriously. if he hadn't just died this week, I could almost wave away my feelings, but taking his (admittedly most famous, stand-alone) song this very week and removing him from the context, replacing with fake-Hillary, felt slightly, I dunno... opportunistic? crass? then again, maybe it was just something they/she came up with on the fly. tl;dr - mixed feelings.

I still find myself thinking "that's rich" re: anything Trump-anxiety-related considering this show let him host. ugh.
posted by cluebucket at 10:36 PM on November 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


Tribe performances were amazing/so energizing/ what made the episode, though. loved how giddy Busta looked, coming out of the audience :-)
posted by cluebucket at 10:38 PM on November 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


the thesis of the sketch seemed to me to be summed up in the exchange that starts with "Do you even know what it's like to be a woman in this country?" The response is played for laughs -- ha ha, a white woman thinks she is familiar with discrimination even though she's talking to a black man! -- as though no one in the writers' room had ever heard of intersectionality, met a woman of color, or been able to simultaneously believe two things are bad without needing to quantify and rank them.

Yeah, this is exactly what bothered me. Sorry I wasn't clearer to begin with; thanks telegraph.
posted by meese at 9:17 AM on November 14, 2016


I think that an intersectional viewer could reflect on differences between the experiences and attitudes of white women and black men, particularly within the context of the election. I also think that's exactly what they were trying to illustrate here.
posted by rhizome at 11:34 AM on November 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


My take of the skit was the same as rhizome's. It was a take down of the white liberal bubble, and I know we've had a lot of posts on MeFi about how mainstream white feminism has a problem with intersectionality. In almost any other episode, I might say that reading is giving SNL too much credit, but not on Chappelle's week.
posted by Ruki at 11:48 AM on November 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


I honestly don't know much about Leonard Cohen, but I know about "Hallelujah" because it's been covered extensively. I had no idea of the song's connection with the week's news, but I thought it was a very appropriate moment for the show. And then I found out about the connection of the song and I thought it was also a good tribute to Leonard Cohen. You could argue about dragging his memory into politics, but I think that song in particular was a good way to summarize the week, with the chosen verses.
posted by numaner at 12:09 PM on November 14, 2016


The white liberals depicted in that sketch were definitely meant to be the archetypal non-self-aware privileged urbanites living in a bubble, yeah.
posted by Apocryphon at 1:29 PM on November 14, 2016


My take of the skit was the same as rhizome's. It was a take down of the white liberal bubble, and I know we've had a lot of posts on MeFi about how mainstream white feminism has a problem with intersectionality. In almost any other episode, I might say that reading is giving SNL too much credit, but not on Chappelle's week.

Honestly I like Chappelle but I think his work in general is problematic with regards to his attitudes toward women and this skit was no different.

If Sasheer and Leslie replaced Chris and Chappelle, I could see this skit exploring the ideas you're positing, but without a woman of color in the mix it came off as pretty misogynist to me.
posted by telegraph at 5:00 PM on November 14, 2016


This is amazing
posted by I-baLL at 11:26 PM on November 14, 2016


without a woman of color in the mix it came off as pretty misogynist to me.

I loved the episode generally but it was clear that Chappelle is a guy's guy in a pretty straightforward way. I thought his opening monologue KILLED but the riff about grabbing the housecleaner's pussy because "Trump said it was okay" was definitely a punching down joke masquerading as a punching up joke. I got a lot out of the show and wasn't expecting Chappelle to be different from that, honestly, but they really underutilized Sasheer and Leslie and this was an opportunity to have a lot more (potentially) all black sketches like they did when (I think?) Kerry Washington hosted. I felt like the very selective choices of Cohen's song made the cold open pretty strong. Jerry's Place was the sort of meta stuff I'd like to be seeing a lot more from SNL so it made me really happy getting sort of hoaxed by Leslie's bad cue card readings and then going in for an post-game analysis like so many of us do on our own.
posted by jessamyn at 7:36 PM on November 15, 2016


H-WAAAT? Oh shit, I only learned through reading this thread that Leonard Cohen died.
But I don't really care for music, do I.

Anyway, the opening gave me the feels, not even aware that Cohen had died – but hearing Phife's voice gave me an even bigger donkeypunch to the feelducts. Leonard Cohen's music always depressed me, but I respected him even if I couldn't dig him. ATCQ on the other hand always made me bounce. If I ever visit El Segundo, I'm gonna leave my wallet there just so I can go back and get it.

The rest of it was like a decent mix of Chappelle's Show with SNL. An A- show in an A- season (so far).

I'm just glad Dave didn't disappear into the mists permanently after quitting his own show; I have missed his sketch and standup comedy so much. I've always had a problem with some of his stuff, but I've had plenty of problems with all of the great comedians' material over the years, male and female – and for me, that is an asset for a comedian: unafraid to express their vision of what truth and absurdity is, especially when some of it makes me question things I'd previously glossed over.

SNL has always had that Big Problem of under-utilizing black women on the show (with the exception of Maya and Leslie), if they even have any in the cast. This show was a big missed opportunity to address that, even if they have addressed it before. And where was Maria Villaseñor?

But: I am so glad they fooled me with the gag on Leslie Jones' inability to make it through any live sketches coupled with their sucky restaurant sketches. The post-sketch analysis was hilarious.

The idea of Leslie Jones and Kyle Mooney, together as new honeymoon-phase lovers? That gave me the feels too.

Anyway, lots to chew on in the episode, both tasty and shitty, but MAAAAAAN I have missed ATCQ and Chappelle. SO. MUCH. This was like a dream Host/Musical Guest combo, even if the episode had some of the usual flaws. I'll give 'em a pass. The only better host for this particular week would have been Bill Hicks, and think of how many people he woulda pissed off. Unfortunately, he had a prior engagement.

OHHKAAAY!!!
posted by not_on_display at 9:47 PM on November 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


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