Andrew Yang touts Chappelle endorsement: 'He has the same hopes I do'

"Someone asked me who my favorite comedian was, I answered Dave Chappelle. I was honest, and here we are working together."

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By Benjamin Pu

DES MOINES, Iowa — Presidential candidate Andrew Yang told MSNBC on Wednesday that it is "thrilling" to receive an endorsement from his favorite comedian, Dave Chappelle.

Yang announced the endorsement on Tuesday at a campaign stop in Iowa. Chappelle, who is known for his sketch comedy show "Chappelle’s Show" and his stand-up routines, will be performing two shows in South Carolina on Jan. 29 and 30 to benefit the campaign.

In an interview on Wednesday with MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle, Yang said it was a "thrilling feeling to know Dave."

"He's a parent, like me," Yang said. "He's concerned about the state of the country and the future. He has the same hopes I do, that we can come together and start to improve our lives and the government has to be the leader."

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"I've been a huge fan of him for years," Yang added. "Someone asked me who my favorite comedian was, I answered Dave Chappelle. I was honest, and here we are working together."

During Tuesday's announcement in Ames, Iowa, Yang said he "can't wait to help make this case to the country that we can do better for our country and our kids than we're doing right now."

In a statement from the campaign, Chappelle did not elaborate why he was endorsing Yang, but was simply quoted as saying, “I’m Yang Gang!”

Yang also has received several other high-profile celebrity endorsements, notably musician and actor Donald Glover, aka Childish Gambino, as well as the actors Steven Yuen and Ken Jeong. Yang does not have any congressional endorsements.

"Well, I’m talking to a lot of people who are political figures who are very excited about my candidacy and campaign," Yang told MSNBC. "They’re just waiting for the water to get a little warmer.”

"The thing is, if you’re in D.C. and you’re literally friends with like some of the people that are in the race, it’s kind of hard to endorse Andrew Yang, but it’s coming."

Yang, who is polling at 3.6 percent in the RealClearPolitics national polling average, raised $16.5 million for his presidential campaign in the last quarter of fundraising. Yang did not reach the polling threshold to qualify for the most recent debate, on Tuesday night in Des Moines.

Chapelle will be performing in Columbia and North Charleston. Yang has made six visits so far to South Carolina, which holds its primary on Feb. 29.

Julia Jester and Jordan Jackson contributed.