The Root Staff
Dave Chappelle hosting Saturday Night Live on Nov. 12, 2016
NBC Screenshot

During Dave Chappelle’s brilliant opening monologue as host of Saturday Night Live in November, he used the n-word at least a couple of times, sticking to his brand of unapologetically black-centered humor and vernacular.

However, according to a Freedom of Information Act request posted on, the much-missed comedian yielded more than a dozen complaints from viewers who took offense to Chapelle's language—not surprisingly, a lot of them from the South.


One complaint said that Chappelle had a “nasty mouth,” while another took umbrage at the fact that Chappelle used the n-word "multiple times during a live show dialogue.” Another more precisely noted that he used the word at “approximately 11:45 PM Eastern standard time” on at least “two separate occasions.”

Yet another viewer contended that because the n-word was audible but censored in the closed caption that the hearing-impaired were being discriminated against. Others took offense to the words “goddamn” and “p—sy.”

To each complaint, the FCC responded that it does not have the authority to censor the show.

Looks as if some people thought that the cutting-edge late-night show needed an advisory warning. We get the feeling that most of the folks complaining have more of an issue with Chappelle than with his use of the n-word.


Watch it again and let us know if you’re offended.


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