'SNL' hosting gig marks Dave Chappelle's long-awaited return to sketch comedy

snl chappelle host election dave forbes best paid comedians
Comedian Dave Chappelle will make his return to the sketch comedy scene via a hosting gig that’s set for the November 12 episode of Saturday Night Live, reports Deadline.

Not only will this be Chappelle’s first appearance on a sketch comedy show since he walked away from his own, Chappelle’s Show, which aired on Comedy Central from 2003 to 2006. But it will also be Chappelle’s first time hosting SNL ever. And it will be a pivotal episode, to boot: the first to air after next week’s presidential election.

Alongside Chappelle will be A Tribe Called Quest serving as the musical guest. They will be promoting their first album since 1998, We got it from Here … Thank You 4 Your service. Apparently, November 12 will be the ’90s throwback episode.

Chappelle mysteriously disappeared from the Hollywood scene at the height of his sketch comedy show’s success, claiming to be tired of how black comedians were treated in Hollywood, and desiring more than money and fame. He left a reported $50 million contract to move to South Africa with his family. But he has resurfaced of late with his first big tour in years, even making Forbes’ list of the highest-paid comedians in the world, rounding out the top 10 in the latest ranking with a reported $7.5 million.

The 43-year-old comedian saw plenty of success outside of Chappelle’s Show and stand-up tours as well, including his big-screen debut in Robin Hood: Men in Tights and a starring role in the cult classic pothead 1998 movie Half Baked, which he also co-wrote. Chappelle also appeared in Chi-Raq, the 2015 satirical music Spike Lee drama that was produced by Amazon, marking his first film role in 13 years.

Given the timing of the episode, chances are Chappelle will be joined by some guest stars, too. We can expect to see, for example, Alec Baldwin return to delivery his impersonation of Donald Trump, not to mention plenty of politically charged sketches, no matter who wins the election. But the bigger question: Will Chappelle use the show to relaunch some of his own signature characters and impersonations, like Prince and Rick James, or address any of the rumors that have long followed his abrupt departure from television?

In addition to the regularly scheduled November 12 episode, which will air on NBC at 11:30 p.m. ET, SNL will also air a Primetime Election Special on November 7, the day before the election.

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