Despite concerted efforts to the contrary, GOP presidential candidate went ahead and hosted last night’s “Saturday Night Live.” Though the political action committee DeportRacism.com had pulled out all the stops to STOP Trump’s appearance, the group’s biggest impact may have been driving up ratings. We’ll wait to see the actual ratings from last night, but anecdotally, many folks tuned in because of the hyped-up controversy in general — and, in particular, to see if anyone took DeportRacism.com’s offer to call Trump a racist to earn a cool $5,000.
Well, someone did call Trump a racist, but I don’t think it’s quite what the DeportRacism.com folks were looking for exactly.
Via The Blaze:
It was reported this week that a “Saturday Night Live” studio audience member could nab a cool $5,000 by shouting “Trump is a racist!” during the Republican presidential candidate’s guest hosting gig on the legendary sketch comedy show.
The “bounty” was offered by DeportRacism.com, a political action committee targeting Trump and NBC because of the candidate’s position on immigration. “Trump has no place on that stage,” Luke Montgomery of DeportRacism told TheBlaze. “NBC is going for the ratings, and so are we.”
Well, it happened. Kinda.
Trump was busy chatting with the audience early in the show when all of a sudden, you heard it: “You’re a racist!”
“Who the hell … I knew this was gonna happen,” Trump reacted. “Who is that?”
As the guest host turned to the side of the stage, comedian and “Seinfeld” creator Larry David stood there, arms folded with a sly smile, and repeated the exclamation: “Trump’s a racist!”
Trump asked, “What are you doing, Larry?”
“I heard if I yelled that they’d give me $5,000,” David replied to much laughter.
Trump’s response: “As a businessman I can fully respect that.”
Check out the clip:
As the candidate himself proclaimed in the opening monologue, he came on the show to prove he “could take a joke” — and the show was clearly designed to help him demonstrate that. As The Daily Mail recaps:
From Bobby Moynihan’s ‘drunk uncle’ explaining why he’s voting for The Donald, to Trump asking Kenan Thompson for his birth certificate because ‘Kenan’ is one letter away from ‘Kenyan’, the Republican frontrunner seemed determined to show his thick skin.
And, in a nod to an anti-Trump campaigner who encouraged people to heckle during the show, Larry David even shouted out ‘you’re a racist’ as Trump delivered his monologue.
Personally, my favorite moment was when the Mexican president greets Trump in the Oval Office delivering his check for the wall between Mexico and the United States.
Controversy around Donald Trump’s appearance aside, there remains the question of whether it’s fitting for presidential candidates — and presidents — to appear as such central figures on pop culture shows. Personally, I’m not a fan of this practice myself. While it can serve a political purpose in showing a more “human” side of a candidate (unless you’re Hillary Clinton, in which case a simple appearance on a show can’t go that far), it diminishes the office of the presidency, in my opinion. Sure, an occasional cameo maybe. But making the rounds regularly on the pop culture shows, while skipping things like the funerals of decorated generals and speeches by supposed allies like Netanyahu… too much, IMHO. It’s gone waaaaaay too far under President Obama, who makes a point of announcing his appearance on a reality TV show while the nation’s reeling from so many heavier issues.
But when these types of appearances have become one central way to reach certain voters — and Democrats clearly have keyed into this fact — what should GOP candidates do? It’s almost become cost of entry to reach a certain segment, however sad that may be.
What do you think?
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]