Dave Chappelle made his long-awaited return to TV days after Donald Trump was elected president of the United States. At that time, the candidate had been a national joke for more than a year. Comics had used and recycled and ripped off the same hair and orange skin jokes hundreds of times. But now, Trump isn't going anywhere—which leaves a challenge for political satirists, for stand-ups, for late night hosts, for sitcom writers for at least four years. With his own return with two stand-up specials this month, Chappelle is worried about comedy in the age of Trump.
"I wouldn't normally have made that assumption, though I think Trump's kind of bad for comedy," Chappelle told a CBC reporter. "Most comics in the states are starting to do the same jokes just because Trump is so on everybody's mind... So it'll be nice when we don't have to talk about him as much."
And while it's hard to find nuance while making fun of a character as cartoonish as Trump, Chappelle said that he believes the world needs comedy in these dark times.
"Well, in my life, nothing's bigger than comedy," he said. "I love my genre, and my genre allows me to be more honest than most people's, but it's still comedy, man. It's gotta be in the spirit of levity because it kinda helps us get through tough times like this."
Thankfully, Chappelle is back.