Dave Chappelle calls hosting 'SNL' a 'perfect storm of circumstances'

By Wade Sheridan  |  March 20, 2017 at 11:57 AM
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March 20 (UPI) -- Dave Chappelle said hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest influenced his decision to host Saturday Night Live in November following the presidential election.

"It was a perfect storm of circumstances that made me do it. Lorne Michaels is a genius," Chappelle said in reference to SNL's creator and executive producer during a new interview with CBS This Morning.

"So Lorne had decided that he wanted – he was adamant that I do the slot after the election. 'I want you to do the first show after the election.' But the decisive factor had a lot to do with A Tribe Called Quest," he continued.

According to the comedian, the death of A Tribe Called Quest member Phife Dawg had brought him to a party in remembrance of the rapper at fellow member Q-Tip's home where Chappelle heard the group's final album, "We Got It from Here... Thank You 4 Your Service."

"Late in the night, Tip played some of the album. And it was real movin'. And hearing Phife's voice. And it was a powerful night, you know?" Chappelle recalled.

"So the album had this idea that we're all gettin' in the age where we lose one another sometimes, you know?" he continued. "So when Q-Tip decided to do the show, he said he wanted me to host. We had talked about it before, but he was very emphatic. And he goes, 'Dave, this is the last Tribe album ever.' And that was the tipping point, you know? Like – well, if you really want to honor someone's legacy, you know?"

"I know Lorne thought that I was probably [expletive]', but I was pretty resolute," Chappelle said of calling Michaels about hosting.

Chappelle's SNL appearance included an opening monologue that discussed Donald Trump's election night win, a sketch performed alongside Chris Rock that mocked the reaction to Trump's win and a Walking Dead segment that brought back characters from Chappelle's Show.

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