Dakota Johnson and Justin Timberlake had a successful evening on Saturday Night Live this weekend, with surprise appearances from Jimmy Fallon, as well as Shark Tank judges Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran.
But many viewers were surprised – and somewhat confused – to see Dave Chappelle standing onstage during their goodbyes.
The comedian appeared to join the cast on stage for no reason at all. To the far left of the stage, SNL cast member Bowen Yang, who has become an audience favourite since joining in 2018, can be seen standing far from the cast, unsmiling.
In a video from that evening, Yang’s castmate Sarah Sherman can be seen engaging in a brief conversation with him at the side of the stage. After Yang says something, she then appears to crane her neck to catch a glimpse of Chappelle, who is standing on the far other side of the stage. The clip then shows her saying something to Yang while comfortingly rubbing his arm.
The clip circulated on X, where some SNL fans praised Yang’s reaction to sharing a stage with Chappelle.
“Bowen Yang is so real for this,” one user tweeted.
“This moment of Bowen and Sarah realising that Chappelle has randomly gotten on stage for the goodnights is really just a bummer to watch,” another wrote.
“The future of SNL is bright with these two. Glad to see them not hiding their feelings about this,” a viewer wrote, referring to Yang and Sherman.
The comedian has been accused of being transphobic and homophobic in his recent comedy specials. GLAAD condemned his 2021 Netflix special The Closer, which showed Chappelle loudly declaring that he’s “Team TERF!” meaning a trans-exclusionary radical feminist.
Chappelle did not appear in any sketches that evening.
He last hosted Saturday Night Live in 2022, during which reports claimed some of the staff writers boycotted the show.
This article originally appeared in Decider and was reproduced with permission.