Dave Chappelle’s controversial monologue on the November 12th episode of Saturday Night Live, which found much to laugh at in Kanye West’s and Kyrie Irving’s recent antisemitic remarks, set off a new round of discourse about blackness, Jewishness, power, and the entertainment industry. Chappelle’s monologue, which some viewers accused of propagating antisemitic tropes itself, also revealed that part of what is at stake in the current contretemps is comedy—specifically, the nexus of Black and Jewish comedy, where an American idiom of humor about insiders and outsiders, envy and identification, privilege and suffering was born. What makes us keep returning to this well of humor, and what happens when the laughter stops? Jewish Currents senior editor Ari Brostoff, JC contributing writer Rebecca Pierce, critic and essayist Jasmine Sanders, and writer and Know Your Enemy co-host Sam Adler-Bell discuss.
Articles, Books, Films, Tweets, and Clips Mentioned:
Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America, dir. Ronald Dalton Jr.
Thanks to Jesse Brenneman for producing and to Nathan Salsburg for the use of his song “VIII (All That Were Calculated Have Passed).”