November 12, 2022 – Dave Chappelle / Black Star (S48 E6)

Cold Opening – Fox and Friends

GOP midterm disappointment ostracizes Donald Trump (JAJ)

  • Man, they are still trying to make these Fox and Friends cold opens happen?
  • Bowen as Brian Kilmeade? At least it’s interesting to see him play a role like this.
  • So far, this is the usual checklist/meme cold open that I was happy this new season avoided in its first two shows, but I guess change is really that hard for modern SNL.
  • The Cecily Strong portion of this cold open is making me zone out, and we are like three minutes into the episode. Not a good thing.
  • A dull cold open, even moreso than usual. I have yet to get more than one or two chuckles.
  • As usual, a fantastic Trump vocal impression from James, but much like this entire cold open, I’ve seen these bits a billion times before, such as the idiotic statements, Cecily as a Republican Ghoul, the checklist moments, etc.
  • Ok, this is getting better.
  • Them kicking out JAJ’s Trump gave me a good laugh.
  • The Kari Lake filter moment at the Fox and Friends set made laugh out loud. Overall, after a rough start, this got better.

Rating: **1/2


host does stand-up about antisemitism, Kanye West, Donald Trump

  • I know this monologue is going to be awkward for me to review, even when I loved Dave’s two previous SNL stand-up sets so much. But considering the anti-trans controversy that Dave got himself into, it’ll be hard for me to review this monologue & episode with the discourse around him out of my mind. I’ll try, however, to review this episode as objectively as possible. Because aside from his controversial jokes, almost everything else Dave does in his comedy routine is outstanding to me and showcases his comedic brilliance and why he is such an influential & highly-regarded comedian in general. I hope he approaches this one with humility, with self-deprecation, and to try and make himself appear as the performer so many of us looked up to for years, as I always did till recently. And I know many of you readers consider these reviews of mine unbiased & honest, no matter who’s the host, so I’ll keep them such to the best of my abilities.
  • As soon as Dave began to speak, his usual straitlaced, comforting tone is making me remember why I was such a massive fan of his before his controversies. I’ll try to evaluate this monologue as a whole, and won’t let an ad-lib or a side comment ruin it for me. Like how some falsely (and they know it) claimed he had a “rant” about triggering others in his previous monologue when it was an ad-lib for a few seconds.
  • Dave’s opening bit with him reading a written statement about antisemitism & Kanye is having me laughing out loud. This is old school Chappelle & I’m loving it.
  • Is it true that Adidas was founded by Nazis? Either way, Dave’s joke about them being even more offended by Kanye made me laugh anyway.
  • The whole Herschel Walker being “observedly stupid” bit is funny, even when I heard the stupid jokes about Walker. Dave has a way in making some of these tired observations come off fresh in his delivery.
  • Man, he’s absolutely burying Herschel Walker here, even moreso than I thought he would.
  • The whole Trump bit, especially the Illuminati card & chopping cocaine with it line had me howling; Dave’s talk about Trump exposing the “the house” and what happens in it for him to do the same when he became president is brilliant.
  • Dave, saying of Melania Trump “the kind of chick James Bond would smash but not trust” is great.
  • Boy, this monologue is really long, I expected it to be shorter than his previous stand-up set from season 46. I’m still enjoying it enough, though.
  • Dave’s “You know what I’ve never stole from work? WORK!” bit is fantastic.
  • The ending of this monologue is pretty heavy, probably on par with the last one, you can feel so many emotions on Dave’s face & voice here.
  • An overall very strong, lengthy monologue. I do think his previous one was stronger & more cohesive in its tone and message, as this one needed some serious trimming at points. Yet, this one still contained the usual Chappelle humor & observations, with multiple solid bits throughout.

Rating: ****1/2

Potato Hole

bluesman (host) reluctantly defines “potato hole”

  • Another hole sketch? Seeing Andrew here is making me think he wrote this, as he wrote that momhole sketch last season.
  • Great voice & characterization from Dave. It reminds me of the great black Blues & Country singers from the 50s and before.
  • Seeing Michael here, and once again this season with Mikey being very invisible, is making more and more certain that he’s leaving after this season and Michael is slowly taking over his roles.
  • The whole dark revelation of what a potato hole actually is after the long setup, as well as the whole reactions shots of the white anchors’ shocked faces during Dave’s speech about it is excellent & gave me a big laugh. This is definitely a sketch that Dave had a hand in writing, as it feels so clearly in his voice.

Rating: ***1/2

House of the Dragon

host introduces clip featuring the return of Chappelle’s Show characters

(Ice-T) & Beautiful (Donnell Rawlings) go medieval

  • I’m already getting excited from Dave’s Old-school sketch introduction, and his way of talking about House of the Dragon’s black characters is cracking me up hard without trying.
  • The whole family tree/who’s having sex with who bit with Michael (who’s having a very good season so far) is solid.
  • Andy “Silky” Johnson! Donnell Rawlings! Holy hell, this is a variation it seems from the much-beloved Walking Dead Chapplle’s Show!
  • Not casting Mikey as Larys Strong & Chloe as Queen Alicent is very surprising, considering the very strong resemblance the performers have for them (especially Mikey).
  • I would say that James is a fitting casting as King Viserys. He’s doing a great job impersonating him, as no surprise to anybody.
  • Ah, with Ice-T being present here, we are indeed getting a Chappelle’s Show mini-reunion tonight.
  • Tyrone Biggums! His whole bit with the King’s dick falling off had me HOWLING. My biggest laugh so far tonight.
  • Funny ending, especially the Flea Bottom & cops references.

Rating: ***1/2


(MIL)’s attempts to join conversation in a Black barber shop fall flat

  • Oh, this seems to be a low-key, slice-of-life sketch that SNL sadly has abandoned ever since the mid 90s, for the most part.
  • Michael’s first interjection had me laughing out loud. His delivery was absolutely excellent.
  • The awkward tension between Michael’s interjections and the others is very well-done; the necklace bit had me laughing harder than expected.
  • I’m enjoying this sketch more and more as it goes along, especially when Michael brings up Yellowstone.
  • The way this sketch is being presented, especially the moments of silence after some of Michael’s lines, and the detail of the razor sounds being practically the response to them, is really clever. There’s no overwrought reacting/explaining here that would ruin the concept, just a scene happening and us going along with it.
  • I LOVE the ending bit with Michael hoping he’ll get a customer tomorrow.
  • An overall excellent, subtle sketch that was not only a slice-of-life, low-key sketch, but one that also provided strong social commentary & great performances without beating us at the head with what it was going for. Easily going to be one of the season’s finest sketches by the end.

Rating: *****

Musical Performance – “So Be It”

Weekend Update

presidential aspirant Jose Suarez (MAH) thinks people complain too much

SRS installs herself as Weekend Update’s third anchor

  • Boy, I see that Herschel Walker is even dumber than I thought. When was the last time a political candidate had this many flubs? I hope he loses soon because God knows I don’t want to see Kenan playing him again.
  • Ah, I see that Marcello is trying to make himself a reliable Update presence so early into his tenure, as this is his second time behind the desk in just five episodes. Very impressive.
  • Like last time, Marcello is coming off very likable, confident, and funny here. I’m especially enjoying how he’s able to work the crowd into his commentary. This commentary also seems to be a more revised version of a comedy bit I saw of him when he was first announced in the cast.
  • The whole sandal bit is absolutely hilarious, and the crowd is eating this commentary up.
  • When I heard that Sarah was cut from last week’s Update, I was somewhat relieved as I didn’t want another Roast Jost that will basically be the same thing, especially that you can’t top the classic previous installment anyway. But this commentary already, feels different than what I originally read in the cut pieces’ description.
  • I love the Pee-Wee’s Playhouse-esque visuals of the set, it really feels like a patented Squirm piece, as her voice is clearly showing here.
  • Sarah’s whole obsession with Fetterman is having me (and the audience) completely dying.
  • This is one of the pieces that epitomizes to me the joy of Sarah Sherman, the joy she radiates with, more than many performers that came & went through SNL’s history, the joy & sheer sincerity within her and her work shines so ever brightly every single time; that as well as her oddball, creative energy, makes more and more incredibly excited for her future on SNL.

Rating: ***1/2

Black Heaven

having to replace host in Black Heaven sketch makes MID uncomfortable

  • Another segment tonight where Dave’s introducing it, and the way he’s presenting it is making it seem like an interesting, out of the ordinary premise.
  • Boy, Mikey is feeling more and more invisible to me as the season goes along. This is probably the most airtime he got since the premiere, although the Jack Harlow episode is possibly up there.
  • Another very Chappelle-esque premise, and Mikey is good in this role, even when SNL really has a hard time nailing this type of meta humor well at times. This sketch’s focus on Mikey & the awkwardness of him, of all people, playing this role, is solid.
  • The cutaway to a menacingly-smiling Dave in the audience cracked me up so much.
  • This is such a Dave Chappelle role to play, and Mikey is the perfect foil to him. Yet another very solid, fun sketch concept in a night that has been filled with them so far. This is easily Mikey’s best sketch so far into the season. I can’t think of anybody else that would’ve breathed this much life to this concept than him.
  • Mikey is doing such a great job displaying how uncomfortable he is playing such a role, and saying these black-centeric lines; the sketch’s usage of Mikey’s lovable, earnest persona in general is brilliant.
  • I absolutely love the cutaway to Dave & Donnell completely losing it, and I love how Dave is having so much fun forcing Mikey to say all these Chappelle-esque lines.
  • The ending with Dave coming back to the sketch is pretty great & one of the better times it was done recently. One of the finest meta sketches in a long time. Mikey was just beyond excellent here.

Rating: ****1/2

Musical Performance – “The Main Thing”

Please Don’t Destroy – Election Night

MOK accidentally becomes Ohio’s attorney general; Steve Kornacki cameo

  • I expected to see a PDD short tonight, but I was very happy to see Molly getting their second showcase this season, and once again, in a pretaped format.
  • The whole Molly being called a background extra was expected, but still funny.
  • I’m enjoying the crazy revelations, the fast pacing, and one-liners, even when they feel a little old hat by now. Molly themself are coming off particularly likable here.
  • Wonderful to see Sarah in this short, considering how strongly connected she & PDD have been so far into her tenure.

Rating: ***


Segments Ranked From Best to Worst


Black Heaven


Potato Hole

Weekend Update

House of the Dragon

Please Don’t Destroy – Election Night

Fox and Friends

Final Thoughts:

  • (*Blood takes a deep breath*) Well, this is a difficult episode to assess no matter what, due to the controversy around our host. And God knows that enough has already been said about him being booked as the host, and the last thing I want is to turn this blog into yet another political discussion hellscape, much like how most online venues already are. With that being said, I’d say this one is far better, overall, than his previous hosting stint (which I would now admit underrating, in particular the offbeat & sweet news storm sketch, which deserved at least double the rating I gave it). With that being said, this episode is, in my view… (*cue ominous music*) A fairly strong & consistent effort, with some very writerly, creative, and solid sketch concepts all night long, in particular Potato Hole, Barbershop, and the Black Heaven. Dave was also fairly solid & committed unlike how he vanished last time after the monologue and we also got heavy Chappelle’s Show vibe throughout the night, much like his first episode. Also adding to the episode’s quality were the musical performances by Black Star, as they were excellent (particularly the first one) and helped make this strong episode even better.

My Favorite Moments of the Episode, Represented with Screencaps:

Up Next:

  • Keke Palmer & SZA are our first host/MG combo for the December shows. See you then!

My full set of screencaps from this episode is here

9 Replies to “November 12, 2022 – Dave Chappelle / Black Star (S48 E6)”

  1. Good review. I myself am not afraid of turning blog posts into heated political debates so I will go into it further than you will but do know that I share your sentiment. Knowing this is a good episode and also knowing it’s fucked up that it exists are hard to balance mentally.

  2. Part 1
    Opening was really good loved a few of Cecily’s lines in this and as usual James Trump was excellent.

    Surprised you gave this a high rating as I thought this was fine WAY too long which is weird because Dave’s other Monologues while still lengthy I found really strong but this well I can’t tell you how many times I zoned out throughout this.

    Another decent sketch though didn’t hate this the reveal was great and everyone performed very well in this.

    Can’t recreate the classics SNL just letting you know. I don’t know what to think of this so I guess it was below average for me.

    Another sketch I’m surprised you gave a crazy all the way ***** you do you of course but I thought this was pretty one note I am however happy for Longfellow starring in a sketch though I just wish it was a better one.

    Weekend Update was absolutely on fire Marcello piece was terrific as well as Sarah’s and as usual strong jokes throughout Update.

    1. Part 2
      Mikey was hilarious in this and Dave as well as everyone else coming in had me cracking up I actually thought this was gonna go to Dismukes at first but like I said Mikey did great in this sketch.

      Sad how this was Molly’s only appearance on but at least they were in a starring role. And this was the usual great PDD sketch after the surprisingly decent one from MTS episode.

      Excited for Keke hosting!

  3. Oh, I don’t know. I just don’t know. Sometimes I feel that Chappelle has a similar sense of limits of humor as Ricky Gervais, who, generally, I think is really funny. But it wasn’t until the the monologue got to the second part (about the midterms) that I started to find it funny. And I really can’t say why. Im not Jewish, I’m pretty Cis. Nothing he says should affect me specifically, or the people I hang around with North Georgia. Let’s move on.

    I really enjoyed the Joker sketch, I’ve watched it a couple of times since. Fear struck me. SNL think that repeating the same word or phrase over and over in the first sketch proper of the night is funny. And it wasn’t. I was being lead down a “Potato Hole” route of thinking SNL was off-form again. Then the reveal. Oh my goodness. This could be my favourite sketch in forever. Perfect. Then a quick out. This was a fantastic sketch.

    All the others were fine. Mikey was good in the Black heaven sketch. I think I was higher on the PDD sketch than most. I like when PDD interact with someone else. (And I like Sarah in Normal attire too)

    WU was the best of the season easily. Good jokes. (I loved Che’s Cleopatra joke. I loved Che’s women Governors joke) Marcello’s visit was a lot better than his first (IMO) and Sarah rocked it at the desk, even if we all knew the bit.

    So, I don’t know, this definitely felt like a Chapelle show. I’m going to need a rewatch, I think.

  4. Another solid review. I agree with pretty much all of your points, as usual. I personally think Kenan should leave already, as the various tropes surrounding him are starting to get old, and he’s been a rather unnecessary part of sketches. I’m a little unsure as to how I feel regarding next episode’s lineup, though.

  5. I do think Sarah Sherman provides a tone and energy that the show so desperately needs.

    I see little glimmers of hope here and there with what I’ve seen this season, but I’m still very skeptical at times.

    Very much enjoy your writing and your point of view!

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