Comedian Dave Chappelle endorsed Andrew Yang for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination on Tuesday. “I’m Yang Gang!” Chappelle announced in a press release issued by the tech entrepreneur’s campaign.*
The announcement comes hours before Yang’s opponents are set to debate in Iowa. For the first time this cycle, Yang did not meet the DNC’s threshold to compete on the debate stage.
“Dave is one of the most important voices in our country today and I’m thrilled he has thrown his support behind this campaign,” Yang said in the press release. “He and I share similar concerns about the future and hopes for what it could be. We are also parents who see the world that we are leaving to our kids and believe they deserve better.”
“Let’s do this for our kids,” Yang tweeted on Tuesday, posing aside the comedy icon. According to the campaign, Chappelle is slated to perform two shows later this month on Yang’s behalf in South Carolina, a state in which the African-American vote is crucial.
This isn’t the Yang campaign’s first brush with comedy. In September, Yang stood up for Shane Gillis, who was briefly cast on “Saturday Night Live” before NBC fired him amid backlash over jokes deemed anti-Asian. Gillis referred to Yang as a “Jew chink” on a podcast last May. Nevertheless, Yang came to Gillis’s aid repeatedly.
“For the record, I do not think he should lose his job,” Yang tweeted at the time. “We would benefit from being more forgiving rather than punitive. We are all human.”
Chappelle, recently awarded the Mark Twain Prize, has become one of the country’s preeminent critics of political correctness.
Yang’s campaign noted that actors Ken Jeong, Steven Yeun and Donald Glover have endorsed the candidate as well.
*I couldn’t help but hear this in Chappelle’s Rick James voice.