In 16 minutes, Dave Chappelle beautifully, incisively summed up all of 2020 -- and sometimes it hurt
Posted November 8, 2020 8:41 a.m. EST
CNN — On the same day the US got a new president, "Saturday Night Live" host Dave Chappelle served up a biting monologue that hit the lowlights of the year, including coronavirus and the rage and tension the country has felt.
"I would implore everybody who's celebrating today to remember, it's good to be a humble winner.
"Remember when I was here four years ago, remember how bad that felt? Remember that half the country right now still feels that way," Chappelle said, referring to his first hosting gig on the show in 2016.
He brought up President Donald Trump's coronavirus diagnosis, joking that the President had great coverage in his personal health care plan, which provided him with a ride to the hospital in a helicopter, a team of doctors and experimental medications.
Chappelle said Trump's special treatment while he was ill was like taking a bag of burgers to a homeless shelter, eating them in front of the homeless and saying, "don't let hunger dictate your life," mimicking the President's infamous tweet after his recovery, when he told Americans not to fear Covid or let it dominate their lives.
But, he said, Herman Cain died of coronavirus and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was in intensive care with it.
"Where was his secret serum?" he asked of Cain's treatment.
"That's your leader. Think about that, for four years, that's your leader. What kind of man does that? What kind of man makes sure he's OK, while his friends are fighting for their lives and die?
"A White man. And I don't mean to put this on the Whites, but I've been Black for a long time, I notice the pattern."
Chappelle said if White people actually want to help Black people, they should participate in his plan he called the "kindness conspiracy."
"It's random acts of kindness for Black people. Do something nice for a Black person just because they're Black, and you've got to make sure they don't deserve it.
"It's a very important part of it, they can't deserve it, the same way all these years they did terrible things to Black people just because they're Black and they didn't deserve it."
He poked fun at neighbors who complained about the noise from the shows he recently did in a corn field in Ohio. Chappelle said he listened in on a town meeting held on the issue over Zoom.
"They said, 'I keep hearing this guy screaming all night, my kids are trying to sleep, and all they hear is (the n-word).' I said, 'Was I saying it, or were you?'"
"He had that twang in his voice, you know, that twang where you hear that accent, like, 'Ohhhhh I know he doesn't wear his mask.'"
"I don't know why poor White people don't like wearing a mask. What is the problem? You wear a mask at the Klan rally -- wear it to Walmart too."
Chappelle said those who say they don't want to wear a mask because it's "oppressive" should try "wearing the mask I've been wearing all these years."
"I can't even tell something true unless it has a punchline behind it. You don't know how to survive yourselves -- Black people are the only ones who know how to survive this. Whites, hurry quick, come get your (n-word) lessons. You need us."
We need 'forgiveness' and 'joy'
He got serious again as he concluded his monologue, talking about the fact that the life expectancy of White people is dropping for the first time in American history due to drugs and suicide.
"All these White people out there that feel that anguish, that pain, they're mad because they think nobody cares -- maybe they don't. Let me tell you something, I know how that feels."
He said he also knew how police officers feel, when they put on their uniform, that they have a target on their back.
"Believe me, believe me, I know how that feels. Everyone knows how that feels."
But, he said, many people hate each other for it.
"And I don't hate anybody. I just hate that feeling. That's what I fight, and what I suggest you fight. You gotta find a way to live your life. You gotta find a way to forgive each other. You gotta find a way to find joy in your existence, in spite of that feeling.
"And if you can't do that, come get these (n-word) lessons."