This weekend’s Saturday Night Live, for multiple reasons, was one of the most-anticipated editions of the NBC comedy program in quite some time. It was comedian Dave Chappelle’s first time hosting the show, marking Chappelle’s return to televised sketch comedy 11 years after the end of Chappelle’s Show; it was the first live performance in years from musical guest A Tribe Called Quest; and, of course, it was the first episode of SNL since Tuesday’s election result, in which Donald Trump was elected president of the United States.
And the show didn’t disappoint, with an instantly legendary cold open featuring Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton singing Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” a dynamite monologue by Chappelle, and a hilarious sketch dramatizing the election night reactions of white and black liberals, in which Chappelle was joined by SNL alum Chris Rock. Then, the show took the chance to make fun of The Walking Dead.
The Walking Dead sketch (see above) was a parody of The Walking Dead’s recent cliffhanger, with Chappelle himself portraying bat-wielding villain Negan and various classic characters from Chappelle’s Show standing in for the Walking Dead cast members.
The characters on their knees included Clayton Bixby, Black White Supremacist, Tyrone Biggums, Chappelle’s Lil Jon impression, the Time Haters, and news anchor Chuck Taylor. Throughout, the old characters alternated between their old catchphrases and vintage-2016 references from “Make America Great Again” to “All Lives Matter,” and while Tyrone ended up going the way of Glenn, his disembodied head soon appeared on the bodies of Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Michelle Obama and others.
The sketch was a great idea, and it worked. It got the look of The Walking Dead perfectly right, while perfectly slotting in the Chappelle’s Show characters, along with impressive technology that allowed several of Dave Chappelle to appear together at the same time. And yes, it was very funny, beyond mere nostalgic value.
Chappelle, famously, walked away from Chappelle’s Show at the height of its popularity in 2005, and never returned, although he has been pretty busy as a standup comedian in the years since. While we never did get those additional seasons of Chappelle’s Show, it was nice to see all of those characters one more time.
Saturday Night Live returns for its next new episode November 19th, with series veteran Kristen Wiig hosting. The Walking Dead continues to air its seventh season on AMC.
Source: NBC/Saturday Night Live
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