In a string of advertisements leading up to Saturday’s episode, SNL cast member Ego Nwodim is seen standing by Chappelle’s side, assuring viewers that he will continue to host the episode. Chappelle echoes her.
“Wait, we’re doing it live?” Nwodim says suddenly, acting confused. When Chappelle answers in the affirmative, she continues: “With you? In this news cycle?”
While it will be the comedian’s third time hosting the live sketch show, it is the first time he will host since his controversial The Closer Netflix special, which included jokes about transgender people. Some online viewed his takes as transphobic and homophobic, but the special remains on the streaming platform.
A number of staff writers at Saturday Night Live have reportedly decided to boycott the show following the announcement that Chappelle will return to host the post-election episode. However, a representative for the comedian has claimed there is no evidence of an actual boycott.
“The room was full of writers. They all pitched ideas and they seemed very excited about it. … Dave is looking to have some fun,” the representative said.
As a third-time host, Chappelle is joining the ranks of Miley Cyrus, Louis C.K., James Franco, Jim Carrey, Jonah Hill, and Seth Rogen.