Larry David made a return to SNL last night, resuming his role as the loveably cranky presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. In the political cold open, David’s Sanders begged us to send him the pennies in our vacuums (we totally would). But it was David — as himself, not Bernie — who became the chorus of the people during Donald Trump’s monologue.
After Trump took the stage to roll his eyes at Taran Killam and Darrell Hammond, both dressed as the Republican presidential candidate and doing their best fish face, he segued into a speech about what a nice guy he is. Poor Aidy Bryant had to endure a fat joke — Trump’s gag was that he thought she was Rosie O’Donnell. And then the voice of David rang out: “Trump’s a racist!”
Sure, it was a half-joke. David quips that he heard a protest group would give him $5,000 to scream it during Trump’s appearance (speaking of the group DeportRacism.com). Like the rest of the evening’s sketches, it was uneasy (more uncomfortable than the zero applause Trump’s daughter Ivanka got during a walk-on role) and had more than a ring of truth to it. SNL’s attempt to pacify audiences by using the controversies surrounding Trump as material failed spectacularly.
Normally we spend Sunday morning recapping the best and worst sketches of Saturday night’s episode of SNL. But we don’t want to tacitly endorse NBC’s decision to let Trump host. There’s enough Trump propaganda out there. We’ll be considering the political fallout from last night’s episode on Monday.