Dave Chappelle used the final minutes of his opening monologue on Saturday Night Live to tell a moving story about visiting the White House last month — and send a message to Donald Trump in the process. “I’m going to give him a chance,” Chappelle said. “And we, the historically disenfranchised, demand that he give us one too.”
Chappelle, who was hosting SNL for the first time, focused on the president-elect throughout his 10-minute monologue, first joking America had “actually elected an internet troll as our president.” The comedian later added he was staying at a Trump-owned hotel, and mocked the leaked Access Hollywood video from 2005, which included Trump making graphic comments about women. “I don’t know if he’s going to make a good president, but he makes a swell hotel suite, I’ll tell you that,” Chappelle said. “Housekeeper comes in the morning, cleans my room, and I just go, ‘Hey, good morning, housekeeping,’ and grab a big handful of p—y and say, ‘You know, boss said it was okay.'”
But Chappelle saved his most poignant commentary for last, recalling what it was like when he attended a party at the White House in October.
“Before I go, I do want to say one thing — and this is not a joke, but I think it’s important that I say this because they’re marching up the street right now as we speak,” Chappelle said, referencing protests that have broken out in New York and other major cities since Trump won the election. “A few weeks ago, I went to the White House for a party. It was the first time I’d been there in many years, and it was very exciting. BET had sponsored the party, so everyone there was black, and it was beautiful. I walked through the gates, and I saw the bus stop — or the corner where the bus stop used to be — where I used to catch the bus to school, and dream about nights like tonight. It was a really, really beautiful night. And at the end of the night, everyone went into the West Wing of the White House, and it was a huge party. And everybody in there was black, except for Bradley Cooper for some reason. And on the walls were pictures of all the presidents of the past.”
He continued, “Now, I’m not sure if this is true, but to my knowledge, the first black person who was officially invited to the White House was Frederick Douglass. They stopped him at the gates. Abraham Lincoln had to walk out himself and escort Frederick Douglass into the White House. And it didn’t happen again, as far as I know, until [Theodore] Roosevelt was president. When Roosevelt was president, he had a black guy over, and he got so much flak from the media that he literally said, ‘I will never have a n—er in this house again.’ I thought about that, and I looked at that room, and I saw all those black faces and Bradley, and I saw how happy everybody was. These people who had been historically disenfranchised. And it made me feel hopeful and it made me feel proud to be an American, and it made me very happy about the prospects of our country.”
Chappelle closed the monologue with that aforementioned message to Trump. “So, in that spirit, I’m wishing Donald Trump luck,” he said. “And I’m going to give him a chance. And we, the historically disenfranchised, demand that he give us one too.”
Watch the full monologue — which includes Chappelle’s take on Harambe as well — in the video below.