Everyone, you need to stop what you're doing: Dave Chappelle is going to host Saturday Night Live, and it just officially became our job not to mess this up. I mean it, you guys. Assuming nothing goes wrong, Chappelle will make his hosting debut on the long-running sketch program on Nov. 12, and the only obstacle to that happening is his own fans, so everybody be. cool.
As we all know, Chappelle used to have a little show on Comedy Central called Chappelle's Show, which was wildly popular, and everyone assumed he'd do forever, because it would bring him fame and fortune and happiness. But, as it turns out, the only one of those three elements Chappelle was interested in was that last one, and he scooted off to South Africa at the height of his fame to go about his life unbothered. As he shared with Time in 2005, early on in his time away from the spotlight:
Let me tell you the things I can do here which I can't at home: think, eat, sleep, laugh. I'm an introspective dude. I enjoy my own thoughts sometimes. And I've been doing a lot of thinking here.
In short, his fans — whether well-intentioned or not — were so intrusive into his personal life that Chappelle had to remove himself to a different country in order to feel sane again. And when he started to make his return, because he felt "necessary" in our political and comedic landscape, his audiences still hadn't learned their lesson. During a 2013 show, Chappelle was experiencing so much heckling from the audience that he refused to continue his performance. To his credit, this time he didn't disappear, but he stopped doing jokes, sitting silently on the stage until the end of his set.
The comedian has been one of my favorites for many years, so I'm really hoping we've learned our lesson at this point, and are ready to be respectful fans of Chappelle without smothering him in our expectations and demands. There's no need to shout out old jokes of Chappelle's, or criticize literally anything he's doing, or really do anything other than be an appreciative audience member. We'll get to see a very exciting show come Nov. 12, which will be musical-guested by A Tribe Called Quest, and I don't want anything to stand in the way of us having nice things, guys. Dave Chappelle is back on our televisions where he belongs. Let's be cool about it.