Amy Schumer references "Nazi ties" and "Kanye" in the same breath on "Saturday Night Live"

In her "SNL" opening monologue, the comedian took on childbirth, weird marriage sex, autism and more

By Alison Stine

Staff Writer

Published November 7, 2022 4:57PM (EST)

Host Amy Schumer during the Monologue on Saturday, November 5, 2022 (Will Heath/NBC)
Host Amy Schumer during the Monologue on Saturday, November 5, 2022 (Will Heath/NBC)

In her opening monologue for "Saturday Night Live," comedian and actor Amy Schumer called out rapper and designer Kanye West's public antisemitism.

Hosting for her third time, Schumer was speaking onstage about her husband Chris Fischer's autism spectrum disorder diagnosis when she said the diagnosis "used to be called Asperger's, but then they found out — this is true — that Dr. Asperger had Nazi ties, Kanye."

After she said the rapper's name under her breath, Schumer looked at the microphone as if something was wrong with it, pointing to it and saying, "That was weird."

Her "SNL" performance capped a week that Schumer called "the hardest week of my life," as her 3-year-old son was admitted to the hospital with RSV, a respiratory virus currently hitting young children especially hard. Schumer missed a rehearsal in order to be with him. The child has since been released.

Schumer's remarks come on the heels of increasing antisemitism from West, who also goes by the name Ye. On social media, he called for violence against Jewish people, and wore a shirt at Paris Fashion Week with a white supremacist slogan that has been classified as hate speech by the Anti-Defamation League. West has had his Twitter and Instagram accounts restricted, and has been dropped by major brands, such as Adidas, Balenciaga, Gap and Foot Locker.

As NBC News reported, Schumer's aside about West "prompt[ed] audience members to laugh and clap." Also according to NBC News, while "not a member of the Nazi party, Hans Asperger — the Austrian physician for whom the disorder is named and who first published a study in 1944 identifying the characteristics that would later come to be identified with Asperger's — 'managed to accommodate himself to the Nazi regime . . . publicly legitimized race hygiene policies including forced sterilizations and, on several occasions, actively cooperated with the child 'euthanasia' program," referring to the murders of hundreds of disabled children in the 1940s.

CNN reported that West "has long been fascinated by Adolf Hitler — and once wanted to name an album after the Nazi leader," quoting an executive close to the rapper who described West's interest in Hitler as an "obsession." According to the source and several others, West had first wanted to name his 2018 "Ye" album "Hitler."

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"SNL" also waded into the West antisemitism controversy with jokes on the Weekend Update segment, including Michael Che's comment, "Seems like he's doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, which I've heard is the definition of something." "SNL" mentioned West last month as well with a fictional Skecher's ad, referencing West's real-life visit to the footwear company's office, where he was escorted out.

By Alison Stine

Alison Stine is a former staff writer at Salon. She is the author of the novels "Trashlands" and "Road Out of Winter," winner of the 2021 Philip K. Dick Award. A recipient of an Individual Artist Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), she has written for The New York Times, The Guardian, and others.

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Amy Schumer Antisemitism Aspergers Clip Kanye West Saturday Night Live Snl Ye