Lorne Michaels and NBC are apparently unfamiliar with the idea of “tempting fate,” or else they would absolutely not be doing what they’re doing with next week’s post-election episode of Saturday Night Live: As announced last night (via Deadline), next week’s episode will be hosted by none other than Dave Chappelle, who won an Emmy for hosting the first episode after the 2016 election. So this is evidently a tradition now, but hopefully “Chappelle hosting SNL” is the only thing this has in common with his 2016 episode. They could resurrect some sketches or whatever (the 2016 episode had a brilliant “Inside SNL” post-sketch analysis sketch that was funny enough that it should’ve been driven into the ground by now), but we’re talking about… you know, the thing that happened a few days before the episode aired that kicked off three straight years of misery and then one more year that taught us we didn’t even know the meaning of the goddamn word.
Hell, airing an episode at all next week seems like a very bold called-shot. It wasn’t originally on the schedule, but SNL expanded to an unprecedented six-week run of shows without any weeks off so it could air an episode on November 7. If the bad thing happens, who’s going to be in a mood for jokes? Chappelle did a good job last time, but Trump hadn’t taken office yet. There was still a chance things wouldn’t be as bad as we all assumed, but in the years since, things have been even worse than a lot of people assumed. Chappelle’s not going to be able to say “we’ll give you a shot as long as you give people like me a shot” (as he did last time), because Trump has already had his shot and he used it to separate children from the parents at the border and oversee the deaths of 231,000 Americans as if they meant nothing. There’s a chance the bad thing won’t happen, obviously, but if you’re feeling optimistic then we’d like to know where you’ve been for the last four years and whether we can join you there in a few days.
Anyway, SNL’s announcement tweet didn’t mention a musical guest, so maybe Chappelle do double duty for some reason. Also, let’s not talk about some of the other stuff Chappelle has done recently and just focus on the election for now. We can only handle so much.