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November 13, 2016

WATCH: 'SNL' offers message of hope in first show after Trump's victory

Television Comedy
111316_SNL_open Saturday Night Live/Youtube

The voters decided who will serve as the next president this week, capping off a long and, at times, ugly election campaign. Some Americans struggled to comprehend what had happened as the reactions to the results ranged from crippling fear to pure joy across the nation. Luckily, "Saturday Night Live" offered a way forward.

Absent were jokes, laughter, and President-elect Donald Trump, who has been played by Alec Baldwin and a regular presence so far this season, in the show's cold open.

Instead, viewers were greeted by Kate McKinnon's Hillary Clinton sitting alone at a piano. She performed an emotional rendition of "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen, who died Thursday.

When she finished the song, McKinnon's Clinton turned to the camera and said, "I'm not giving up. And neither should you. And live from New York, it's Saturday night!"

That set the stage for the week's guest host Dave Chappelle, who delivered a powerful 11-minute monologue that touched on race relations, gun violence and hope for the future.

To begin, Chappelle admitted he wasn't surprised that Trump was elected president. "America has done it. We actually elected an internet troll as president. Whites are furious! Never seen anything like it. I haven't seen white people this mad since the O.J. [Simpson] verdict." he said.

Taking a more serious tone, Chappelle suggested that the epidemic of gun violence is the most important problem facing the country. To make his point, he used the internet's obsession with Harambe, the gorilla killed in May at a Cincinnati zoo.

"You can't even go to the g--d--- zoo without seeing a shooting out there. They shot a gorilla in my local zoo. And the Cincinnati Police said, "Shooting that gorilla was the toughest decision this department ever had to make." I said, 'You about to see a lot of n----- in gorilla costumes in Cincinnati,'" he joked.

In closing, Chappelle prodded Americans to remain hopeful for the future and move on as he recounted a recent visit to the White House.

The event was sponsored by BET and guests went into the West Wing at one point. "Everybody in there was black except for Bradley Cooper for some reason," Chappelle said. They acknowledged the struggles that the historically disenfranchised endured to simply be invited to the White House.

"It made me feel proud to be an American, and it made me very happy about the prospects of our country. So, in that spirit, I'm wishing Donald Trump luck and I'm going to give him a chance," Chappelle said. "And we, the historically disenfranchised, demand that he give us one too."

Watch it here: