Donald Trump’s second trip to the Saturday Night Live stage has been grabbing headlines since NBC announced the presidential candidate would be returning as host. Several groups protested SNL’s choice of host — based, in part, on Trump’s controversial remarks about Mexico and his stance on immigration. Security was high for audience members and included Trump’s Secret Service detail. With the protesters outside and the suit-and-sunglasses crew patrolling the inside, it would be easy to forget that this is all meant to be funny. The most memorable hosts from SNL’s long history are those most willing to go for the laughs, taking it on the chin for the bit, and being prepared to be the butt of the joke. In a night filled with some straight shots at Trump’s expense and some obvious production moves to work around his comedy inexperience, here are three must-see moments from The Donald’s time spent live from New York on Saturday night.
1. "Live Tweets": In one of the night’s most meta moments, Trump announced at the beginning of the sketch that he was too busy for rehearsal, so instead of being in the sketch, he would just live-tweet it, instead. These "live" tweets popped up on-screen as members of the SNL cast walked through a fake sketch. Vicious tweets, a blatant nod to Trump’s unfiltered presence on social media, popped on screen: “@terankillam is a dumb loser,” “Cecily Strong is not a nice person,” and “Kate McKinnon was born stupid.” The best of the nasty bunch? Birther jokes at Kenan Thompson’s expense, joking that "Kenan" is only one letter away from "Kenyan."
2. "Hotline Bling": Sure, you’ve seen lots of takes on Drake’s video for “Hotline Bling,” including the one with the world’s chillest cat. Making fun of Drake’s — shall we say...distinctive — dance moves, this pre-produced video features old white dudes with moves like the Sneaky Fish and the Miracle Whip. The video featured a mega-cameo from Martin Short as his classic SNL character Ed Grimley (Remember him? The one with the Alfalfa hairdo who was obsessed with Pat Sajak from Wheel of Fortune?) doing his own best moves. Then, cut to Trump, dancing and rapping, “Call me on my cell phone.”
3. Larry David: The Curb Your Enthusiasm star returned as his separated-at-birth doppelganger Bernie Sanders for the cold open, and, great as that was, his best bit came in Trump’s opening monologue. The Deport Racism 2016 campaign had issued a heckling bounty of $5,000 for anyone who could be heard on-air yelling “Trump is a racist.” Lorne Michaels and his SNL crew diffused the situation in the opening minutes. During the final moments of Trump’s monologue, a shout could be heard off stage. Cut to David, who says the magic words, followed by, “I heard that if I yelled that they would give me $5,000.” Well played, SNL. Well played.
Extra-special bonus: Musical guest Sia's black-and-white wigs, mega-bows, interpretive dance, and killer renditions of “Alive” and “Bird Set Free.”