The US comedian hosted SNL on Saturday (7 November), begining the show with an opening monologue laden with his usual edgy brand of humour.
But while Chappelle was praised for much of his work on the episode, which was delivered just hours after Joe Biden was declared the new president-elect, one joke was a sticking point for many viewers.
In his monologue, Chappelle discussed Trump’s Covid-19 diagnosis, calling it “hilarious”.
“Trump getting coronavirus was like when Freddie Mercury got Aids,” he said. “Nobody was like, ‘Well how did he get it?’”
The joke was applauded by the studio audience, but many social media users condemned Chappelle and branded it “poor taste”.
“Dave Chappelle …. did not need to make an AIDS joke,” one viewer wrote, while another added: “This Dave Chappelle aids joke was in super f***ing poor taste. Jesus.”
“And with one Dave Chappelle Freddie Mercury AIDS ‘joke’, all of my optimism fades away,” a third viewer commented.
“Cool, it’s 2020, and ‘jokes’ about Freddie Mercury contracting AIDS are funny again; a joke made with the unspoken presumption that he was a man having a lot of sex with men, so of course he got AIDS. Yep, hilarious, Dave Chappelle and #SNL. Thanks for that,” one wrote.
“AIDS jokes. Not funny in the 1980s. Not funny now,” another simply put it.
The Independent has contacted Chappelle’s representatives for comment.