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SNL’s Dave Chappelle Episode Had ‘Rick James’ Sketch Cut for Trump

SNL Dave Chappelle Rick James Trump
NBC / MGM Television

No one knew quite what to expect from SNL after the 2016 election took a different course than predicted, though Kate McKinnon’s moving cold open and Dave Chappelle’s monologue offered a welcoming return. We even got to see some old Chappelle’s Show faces, but the most famous of all was apparently cut over Trump’s electoral win, says writer Neal Brennan.

Speaking on WNYC’s Leonard Lopate Show (h/t Vulture), former Chappelle’s Show writer Brennan revealed that he and Michael Che had worked out the return of Chappelle’s infamous “Rick James” character for a potential Clinton victory; appearing on Weekend Update to gloat over Trump’s loss. The pair attempted to rewrite the appearance, but ultimately cut the bit in favor of the “Election Night” sketch, wherein Chappelle and Chris Rock observe their Caucasian friends struggling to come to grips with Trump’s victory.

The relevant bit starts around four minutes in:

And while we may not have gotten to see Chappelle’s Rick James impression again (the character is undoubtedly the comedian’s sorest spot with regard to fan interaction), The Walking Dead sketch at least brought back Silky Johnston (flanked by Donnell Rawlings’ “Beautiful”), Tyrone Biggums, Chuck Taylor, Lil Jon and African-American KKK member Clayton Bigsby.

SNL would look very different under Clinton (bye-bye, Baldwin-Trump), but expect a continuation of the current regime as Aziz Ansari makes his hosting debut this weekend.

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