Donald Trump hadn’t gotten far into his opening monologue before trouble occurred. An off-screen heckler interrupted with a cry of “You’re a racist!”
But the “heckler” was comedian Larry David, who before Trump arrived onstage had been seen impersonating Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders.
“Larry, what are you doing?” Trump asked with a trace of exasperation.
“I heard if I yelled that, they’d give me $5,000,” said David with a shrug, echoing an offer made publicly by one of the Hispanic groups protesting Trump’s appearance.
“As a businessman,” Trump told him, “I can fully respect that.”
Trump’s 90 minutes in the “SNL” spotlight followed weeks of growing anticipation, increasingly sharp criticism and mounting calls for him to be dropped from the show. But the Republican presidential candidate hosted Saturday’s “SNL” as scheduled. And, at least in NBC’s Studio 8H, there was no more unrest — orchestrated or otherwise. (Deport Racism, the group that made the $5,000 offer, tweeted that David would get the bounty, “joke or not.”)
Only hours after the broadcast, Trump was back on television and characteristically bullish about his performance, calling it “very well received and probably got very good ratings, who knows.”
Very good, indeed. Preliminary Nielsen ratings measuring households in 56 U.S. markets gave Saturday’s “SNL” its highest rating since January 2012.
Full results, including viewership figures, will be released Thursday, NBC said.
Trump also told CNN’s “State of the Union” that some sketches were cut because they were “a little risque.” He did not go into details.
During his monologue, Trump promised his hosting appearance would be “something special,” while noting that many people had asked him why he accepted the gig. He said they had told him, “You’re brilliant, you’re handsome, you’re rich. The world is waiting for you to be president. Why?”
His answer: “I had nothing better to do.”
“But part of the reason I’m here,” he added, “is to show I can take a joke.”
In one sketch, Trump was willing to mock his penchant for tweeting insults about people with whom he differs.
“I hate to break it to you guys,” he told viewers, “but I’m not going to be in the next sketch.” Instead, off-camera, he live-tweeted comments that were flashed on the screen about “SNL” cast members performing a skit:
“Cecily Strong is not a nice person.”
“Kate McKinnon was born stupid.”
“I love SNL … SNL loves me. But everyone in this sketch is a total loser who can bite my dust.”
Another sketch imagined Trump in the Oval Office in 2018 — two years into his presidency — savoring his many successes.
By then, Syria is at peace. China is borrowing money from the U.S. Trump’s real-life daughter, Ivanka, is the administration’s secretary of the interior, and announces the Washington Monument will be covered with gold.
Did it all sound too good to be possible?
“If you think that’s how it’s going to be when I’m president, you’re wrong. It’s going to be even better,” Trump said, addressing the audience. “I said to the writers of this sketch, ‘Keep it modest.'” His preference, he insisted, was to keep expectations low for his presidency and not overpromise.
It wasn’t Trump’s first turn as guest host. The billionaire developer and media personality presided in April 2004, a few weeks after he debuted as host of NBC’s “The Apprentice.”
This time, while Trump demonstrated once again that he could take a joke, he was running for president. The sketches — both with and without him — seldom let the audience forget it.
The Associated Press contributed to this article
Justin W says
Donald Trump is a master showman. When will these protestors realize they are feeding this guy’s popularity? Their protest and threats likely caused more people to watch SNL so they could see what would happen. It turned into a big night for SNL, its advertisers and Donald Trump. I’m going to guess the Donald would like more enemies who turn out to be that helpful to his cause.
David Baldwin says
Donald Trump’s hosting of SNL is just a reminder to all those skeptics that even though he has NEVER been a politician, the US doesn’t NEED a politician! It needs leadership that’s forceful, strategic and tactical on the national and world stage. His style will be tempered once he gets into office by his advisers, but his determination to “Make America Great” will be a driving force.
Just remember, he cannot be bribed by special interests and I know he will be guided by the Divine (that’s GOD for you that still believe in the Almighty like I do).
Howard Sampson says
He has my vote. I also believe we need leadership and how to make America Great Once Again. We want changes we can take to the bank. He loves America and its people. He is not someone to good for us humble ones.
I totally agree TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP 2016
rikk cole says
at least he is not one of the good ole boys or girls from DC that have been wreaking our counttru
Good old tranboys and dykegirls
Javier C. says
People have to realize, Trump’s father was right when he said, whatever Trump touches, turns into gold. This is a guy that accomplishes whatever he decides to tackle. In other words a man of action, not just talk. This is the opposite of what we get, when we elect professional politicians, or outsiders that have already been compromised by donors or lobbyists. Trump is unique in that sense and is the perfect candidate to reverse the dangerous path this country is on. As a Hispanic, I will be voting for him. He is the only choice we have, to right the many wrongs in our country.
arnold camin says
I fully agree with you.
John C. Bishop says
I just want to say that I am very excited about Donald running and he has my support. I am a 100% Trump man.
Jay Bell says
Donald Trump oversimplifies everything. (1) His presidency would be a disaster because he does not understand that the nation is NOT a one-man show, as the businesses he ran (sometimes into the ground) and continues to run. Presidents who do not understand that they require the cooperation of Congress end up accomplishing nothing and this is no longer the American of the 1950s that can afford a do-nothing president like Eisenhower. It is true that the American voting public have had quite enough of evil, manipulative, pathological liars (who wouldn’t know how to tell the truth if their lives depended upon it–the reason why Hillary Clinton should be utterly rejected by them). BUT, to replace the former problem with a big ego, big mouth, autocrat is to descend further into chaos. What is needed is a truly humble, TRULY Constitution-loving, patriot, who understands that he is there to serve rather than to serve himself and his own selfish ambition. (2) Washington is a town that only respects political and financial power. Trump will have none of the former and certainly not enough of the latter to make any difference at all. Those who work for the power elites of the nation will treat Trump as a joke and no matter how much Trump would desire to tell them, “You’re fired!” and have them slink off the political stage, it will NOT happen.
Howard Sampson says
Jay, much what you say is true, but you seem to overlook the fact that Mr, Trump is very bold and persuasive. He’s a leader that most people will follow, including those in congress. The USA has been sadly wandering without a leader since the early Clinton days, and will strongly back one with a positive view of this country and a plan to rejuvenate it’s greatness.
You mean he’ll be like Obama? First of all Trump has more leadership ability than 0bama has in his pinky and secondly he knows America is exceptional and won’t be going all over the world and put this country down Thirdly Obama has been the nightmare president who has circumvented the Constitution and should be impeached. He is the only president who acts on his own with total disregard for the Constitution and the rule of law. Hillary would be doubling down on the last 8 years. We will be a third world country by the end of her presidency . Lastly any GOP candidate is a huge improvement over the tyrant we have and any socialist candidate from the other side .
Ken Larson says
I was very impressed on how the DONALD handled himself. Trump is the perfect candidate for the Presidency.. This country
has had enough with this current President who wants to run it into the ground..!! Keep it up Donald your the man..
Donald Trump is a wonderful person maybe a little rough around the edges I can be at times too but obviousyctsee you can see by his children that he’s a good hard working lotheirindividual don’t hold it against him because he has money because look at Clintons can anyone tell me what she’s done in all her years the Clinton are the most greedy self absorbed get whatever they want any cost including killing 4 men for political reasons good Lord God help them how much money do you really need and power god bless Donald Trump he’s got my vote from day one
Jamesson Clark says
There’s not a man in there now.
Jamesson Clark says
Jamesson Clark says
Randy Staples says
WE WANT TRUMP. I listened to Mr. Trump in Sparks.Nv. He seems to have his head on where it needs to be, and is smart enough to be our President . Why do you have to be a politician to be the President , was George Washington , U.S. Grant , or Abe Lincoln , or Ronald Reagan ? And I believe he’ll take care of our Veterans and help our Middle class people . Trump might be our only hope to get our country back on track where it used to be .GO TRUMP GO. Make our Country Great Again. Thank You Randy.
Alice Gurczynski says
# 1 for Donald Trump, all the way…Powerful, and Distinguised Gentleman…
He’s exactly what America needs !!!! He has my vote period …..
rick martelli says
here is a man that made ten billion dollars. he has to be very bright in all fields of life. alot talk about trump, but you don’t have a dollar in your pocket. you live on credit cards. who are you to judge trump ? he knows how to deal with everything he faces. or, he would be broke just like you. alot of what he says may be harsh, but it is the truth, not wishful thinking, with sugar on top for the babies of this country. oh, you can’t say that, well guess what, it needs to be said. and done. so go back to your high chair. vote TRUMP !
Our entire government has been perverted by sex , money , power , greed !!! They all need to be replaced and the rules rewritten to take away all thier benefits and give them exactly what we get same everything !!!!
I have just one question about the Bernie guy. Is Sanders self-funding his campaign like Trump, or he accepted a bribe?