Dave Chappelle did a “fake” “Saturday Night Live” monologue during the show’s dress rehearsal, sources said, and then switched his material for the live show.
A source told Page Six: “Dave does a fake monologue during the dress rehearsal, because he doesn’t want [‘SNL’ creator] Lorne Michaels, or anyone else, to know what his real monologue is.”
The source added that Chappelle made a joke during the dress rehearsal about a writer who refused to work with him this week on the show.
We previously reported that some staff writers were so furious that the comedy superstar — who’s made transphobic and homophobic jokes in his past comedy shows — was chosen to host that they were sitting out the episode.
Chappelle’s rep previously told us there was nothing to suggest there was any boycott when Chappelle and his team attended “SNL” writers’ meetings last week.
But an insider told Page Six that the joke Chappelle made about the objecting writer during the rehearsal “caused tensions to flare.” Either way, the comedian then switched up his monologue for the actual NBC live show.
The live 15-minute monologue, however, caused even more controversy for other reasons. Chappelle was blasted by the Anti-Defamation League for “popularizing” anti-Semitism with his jokes.
“I denounce anti-Semitism in all its forms and stand with my friends in the Jewish community,” Chappelle said in his opening. “And that, Kanye, is how you buy yourself some time,” he added, referring to West’s recent anti-Semitic rants.
Chappelle’s focus on the topic didn’t stop there. He also touched on Nets star Kyrie Irving’s ban from the NBA team, after the basketball star posted links to an anti-Semitic movie. Chappelle also joked about tropes involving Jewish executives in Hollywood, Jewish holidays, and other related topics.
Jewish activist Rudy Rochman called the Chappelle monologue “a meticulous & calculated move to desensitize the population from anti-Semitism.” Time Out New York theater editor Adam Feldman argued, “That Dave Chappelle SNL monologue probably did more to normalize anti-Semitism than anything Kanye said.”
Others defended the comic. stand-up performer Loni Love gave Chappelle support by tweeting, “The Dave Chappelle monologue on [‘SNL’] tonight was the classic stand up he is known for… current events, timely and funny.”
Reps for Chappelle and “SNL” did not get back to us.
Chappelle last hosted the sketch comedy show in 2020, before Netflix released his 2021 special “The Closer.” That special angered some viewers because many of Chappelle’s jokes were aimed at the trans community.
Chappelle appeared on the sketch show with musical guests Black Star. Hey hosts the Luminary podcast “The Midnight Miracle” with the rap duo.