Saget died on Sunday at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Orlando at age 65. He had performed a stand-up set on Saturday night and hours later, he was found dead in his hotel room. His cause of death has not yet been revealed, though no signs of drug use or foul play were reported.
During a show at the Peppermint Club in Los Angeles on Thursday evening, Chapelle revealed that Saget had texted him before his death, according to a clip of the performance published by TMZ. However, Chappelle, 48, said he didn't have a chance to reply before Saget's death.
"Listen, I'm getting old, so at my age a lot of people I know die... I started doing this comedy young. All of my peers are older than me," he said, adding that he "didn't see Bob coming."
"Man, he just texted me and I saw the text yesterday and never texted him back because I was just busy," Chappelle continued. "Yeah, it happens. I'm just saying this to remind you: these moments are precious."
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"When I come out at night, I'm not just hanging out, I'm making memories. S—, when I go out at night, I'm making history," the Chappelle Show creator added.
Later in his set, Chappelle referenced the backlash he has faced over the transphobic comments he made in his Netflix comedy special The Closer, which premiered on the streaming service in October.
"The new me is not going to do any of those transphobic bigoted jokes," he said on Thursday.
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When a member of his audience shouted out, "F— them, Dave," Chappelle cut them off and continued, "I'm gonna tell you something else, I am not in battle with the transgender community — that's ridiculous. I do not blame the Ls, the Bs, the Gs or the Ts ... blame the Jews! Somebody else's fault."
In The Closer, Chappelle made several jokes that targeted the LGBTQ community, particularly transgender people. Netflix subsequently faced criticism from viewers and employees over providing a platform for anti-LGBTQ views.
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) denounced Chappelle's special in a statement that was shared after the premiere.
"Dave Chappelle's brand has become synonymous with ridiculing trans people and other marginalized communities," GLAAD wrote on Twitter. "Negative reviews and viewers loudly condemning his latest special is a message to the industry that audiences don't support platforming anti-LGBTQ diatribes. We agree."