SNL's first episode after the historic Nov. 8 election brought a lot of humor to one of the scariest situations this country has faced in a while. Host Dave Chappelle's SNL monologue reminded America that everything is going to be ok, because this isn't the first time Americans have fought back and won against ignorance and prejudice. "We've been here before," Chappelle pointed out, referencing the various hardships that the United States and its citizens have always survived. "I'm wishing Donald Trump luck, and I'm gonna give him a chance, and we, the historically disenfranchised, demand that he give us one to."
One of the most inspiring moments in the monologue was when Chappelle told the story of his last trip to the White House for the recent BET Concert in October. In a building that was built by slaves and used to prohibit black people from entering, a black president hosted a party specifically for black people (and Bradley Cooper). The black visibility, which was mirrored in the episode of SNL itself, was a welcome way to celebrate the diversity that makes America great already. Just days after an election that granted a vocally prejudiced man the highest land in the office, that story gave hope for the country's future to the millions who tuned in to SNL Saturday night.
People certainly aren't letting Trump forget that he alienated millions of socially marginalized Americans with the hateful and inflammatory rhetoric he used throughout his campaign. Anti-Trump protests have broken out in nearly every major city in the country, which Chappelle also referenced in one of the lighter moments in his 11-minute monologue. "I watched a white riot in Portland, Oregon on television the other night. The news said they did a million dollars worth of damage. Every black person watching was like 'amateurs.'" Although Chappelle's take on the matter may have slightly simplified the reality of the nationwide protests, the point is still clear — tens of thousands across the country are choosing to stand up and protest against Trump rather than tolerate the hate and discrimination that his election has legitimized.
SNL's strength this week was that it served as a distraction without really being a distraction. It helped showcase what is still good about the United States and where the country can still go from here, how people can work through their fear in constructive and productive ways. Even though the idea of a Trump presidency is objectively scary, humor and representation helps dispel some of that fear. If this episode was any indication, SNL will be a major source of both of those factors throughout the next four years.