Saturday Night Live has become notorious for its comedic political commentary. In fact, some of the best acting on the show occurs when the cast members impersonate politicians. Recently, though, the SNL cast has been doing fewer impersonations of the political candidates and more acting alongside them. So far this season, Hilary Clinton stopped by the studio long enough to play a barmaid consoling a manic version of herself played by Kate McKinnon, and last night Republican candidate Donald Trump hosted SNL, and it was interesting, to say the least.
Trump hosted SNL back in 2004, but that was when the world knew him as a real-estate executive, not a Republican candidate. The announcement that Trump would be hosting SNL caused an uproar in some communities. NBC received requests to cancel Trump hosting the late night sketch comedy show, and there were threats of heckling. The group, Deport Racism 2016, publicly offered to give $5000 to anyone willing to call Trump a racist on the air.
NBC accepted Deport Racism’s challenge in true SNL style. Larry David, who has been playing Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders on SNL, interrupted Trump’s opening monologue by yelling “You’re a racist! Trump’s a racist.” The actor explained to Trump he interrupted the monologue because someone offered to pay him $5000 if he did. Trump responded to say that “as a businessman, I can fully respect that.” Priceless.
After all the hype leading up to last night, Trump only appeared on screen a total of 12 minutes. To put this in perspective, when Miley Cyrus hosted this season’s premier of SNL, she appeared on screen for roughly 22 minutes, which is almost double Trump’s time in the SNL spotlight.
While Trump may not have appeared on camera very much, he made the most of the time he did have by talking politics and marketing his campaign. His opening monologue was about promoting his candidacy, and the first sketch he appeared in showed Trump in the oval office. In other words, the beginning of the show wasn’t very funny.
But the night wasn’t a total bust. SNL made the parody to end all “Hotline Bling” parodies. Since releasing his latest music video, the internet has been going crazy over Drake’s bad dance moves, and it wouldn’t be SNL if they didn’t weigh in. The parody treated Drake as an inspiration and hero to all stereotypically bad dancers such as dads, teachers, and tax guys. Seeing Trump dance and sing to “Hotline Bling” was without a doubt the highlight of the night.
Trump may not have really appeared on screen much last night, but 12 minutes was enough to prove that something isn’t really comedy unless you’re making fun of something… or someone.