Trump Disappoints on 'Saturday Night Live,' Gets Heckled by Larry David

Donald Trump
Donald Trump delivers the opening monologue flanked by impersonators Taran Killam an Darrell Hammond. NBC

Saturday Night Live has not been a kind place for presidential hopefuls. Jesse Jackson hosted in 1984 as he was vying for the Democratic nomination. Steve Forbes hosted in 1996 as part of a bid to replace Bill Clinton in the White House. Seven years later, Al Sharpton took the stage as he tried to do the same thing to George W. Bush. All three hosts share one thing in common, of course: They didn't come anywhere close to the presidency.

So, the move to host Saturday's show could be seen as a death wish for Donald Trump, but Trump is also unlike any other candidate who has ever run for president. He's made a lifetime's worth of gaffes in the past five months, none of which have seemed to affect his standing among voters. Even though his attempt at comedy on Saturday night was arguably the most offensive thing he's done since he declared his candidacy, it's likely not to matter.

The show started off strong with Larry David reprising his role of Bernie Sanders in the cold open. Trump's monologue wasn't so bad either. Taran Killam, SNL's current Trump, and Darrell Hammond, its pre-presidential-bid version of the real estate mogul, joined the host onstage, with all three dressed in identical suits. The most amusing moment of the entire show came at the end of Trump's address, when someone out of the frame yelled, "You're a racist!" This wasn't an accident. A Latino group offered $5,000 to anyone who would heckle Trump during his controversial appearance. So who is now $5,000 richer? That's right, it's Larry David.

The show took a nosedive from there, with Trump playing a significant role in only two sketches. One was set in 2018, with Trump sitting in the Oval Office as his cabinet told him how great America had become. Russia's Vladimir Putin had pulled out of Ukraine, China was now the one borrowing money, and the U.S. economy was once again "huuuuge." There were few real attempts at comedy here, other than the laughably impossible thought of Trump turning the country around in two years. Back to the Future seemed more realistic.

The second Trump-heavy sketch was the show's most painful of the night. Keenan Thompson was the frontman of a lounge band that featured Trump on the laser harp. Thompson introduced the band members, all of whom performed brief solos after their names were called, but when it got around to Trump, he was frustrated the other musicians had hogged the spotlight and didn't leave him enough time to solo. If this doesn't sound like it makes a ton of sense, it's because it doesn't. There's really nothing more to say about it. It's only real purpose was to remind us of the existence of the laser harp.

The rest of the show did its best to work around Trump. There was a sketch that Trump "live tweeted," calling Taran Killam and Cecily Strong clowns and losers as they tried to enjoy a honeymoon dinner. We saw Strong and Vanessa Bayer's recurring "Porn Stars" characters starring in a commercial for Trump, with an orange-wigged Bobby Moynihan playing Trump. Trump himself appeared at the end of the sketch only to say that he did not approve of this message.

Oh, and how could we forget: The episode also featured a pre-taped "Hotline Bling" parody with Trump dancing to the meme-friendly Drake hit.

This might signal that "Hotline Bling" parodies have officially jumped the shark. The same could be said for the Trump campaign.

Trump Disappoints on 'Saturday Night Live,' Gets Heckled by Larry David | Culture