Dave Chappelle, Jon Stewart Reflect On The Past Two Years Since Trump’s Election

The comedians warned against putting all the blame on the president for the current state of political animosity.

Comedian Dave Chappelle.
Kevin Winter / Getty Images

The comedians warned against putting all the blame on the president for the current state of political animosity.

Two comedic legends sat down with veteran journalist Christiane Amanpour for an exclusive interview on their thoughts regarding the past two years since President Donald Trump was elected.

Jon Stewart, who hosted the Daily Show and spoke about news topics for a daily basis for more than a decade and a half, and Dave Chappelle, whose program Chappelle Show frequently exposed hypocrisies and deficiencies in American society, spoke about Trump and their disappointment with the president since he took office, according to reporting from CNN.

Stewart pointed out, for example, that he had hoped the stoic White House would transform Trump, especially given the numerous portraits of other renowned leaders that would surround him. Instead, Stewart noted, it seemed as though Trump was the one changing things.

“Oddly enough, he transformed the White House, and the White House wasn’t able to transform him,” Stewart said.

Chappelle also lamented that he wasn’t entirely thrilled with the outcome of the Trump White House so far.

“Is he doing a good job, am I happy with what he’s doing? No. It’s been very difficult to watch the last couple of years,” Chappelle said.

Stewart added his own observations on the president. “Donald Trump is a salesman who changes his pitch depending on who he’s in front of,” he explained.

But the comedians also warned that Trump’s rise to power — and his subsequent leadership style — didn’t come out of a vacuum. America’s problems existed long before Trump, and well before Russia interfered in our elections, the duo insisted.

“Even when they say that Russia influenced the election, it’s kind of like, is Russia making us racist? Is that who’s doing it?” Chappelle asked rhetorically. “Oh OK, oh my God, thank goodness — I thought it was us.”

Chappelle added that he didn’t believe Trump was solely responsible for the animosity in today’s political climate. Trump wasn’t making things better, but he was “not making the wave, he’s surfing it,” the comedian said.

Chappelle also pointed out that the feelings of disillusionment and anger that were felt by many Americans in the wake of the election two years ago didn’t resonate with him for a very important reason: he’s felt it before, as have millions of black Americans across the country for many decades now.

“You know, I’m a black American,” Chappelle explained. “These feelings that people right after the election, we felt that many elections, many elections consecutively.”

That was why, the week after the 2016 election when Chappelle was hosting Saturday Night Live, he explained he was going to give Trump a chance to lead. But Chappelle also demanded that Trump give “the historically disenfranchised” voices across America a chance as well.

Chappelle stood by his comments, even though he still has reservations about the president. He said “the right thing at the right time,” the comedian explained.