Donald Trump used an appearance on Saturday Night Live to make the case that he can take a joke, standing next to his impersonators and even lightly sending up protests of the show.
The Republican presidential candidate’s second hosting gig on the long-running sketch show was marred by protests from Hispanic groups around the country that protested remarks he had made about undocumented immigrants since launching his campaign in June.
One group, the Deport Racism PAC, even offered $5,000 to any audience member who would disrupt the show by yelling “Trump is a racist.”
In the most pointed response on the show, Trump found his monologue interrupted by a heckler. But it turned out to be comedian Larry David, who was on the show to play Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
“I heard if I yelled that they’d give me $5,000,” David shrugs. “As a businessman I can fully respect that,” Trump replies.
During the monologue, Trump also tried to present himself as self-aware, cracking jokes about his own ego.
“A lot of people are saying Donald, you’re the most amazing guy,” Trump began. “You’re brilliant, you’re handsome, you’re rich, you have everything going for you, the world is waiting or you to be president, so why are you hosting Saturday Night Live? The answer is I have really nothing better to do.”
Trump was then joined onstage by his two impersonators, Taran Killam and Saturday Night Live alum Darrell Hammond, wearing matching red ties and blonde wigs. “They’re great,” the real Trump said. “They don’t have my talent, my money or especially my good looks. But you know what, they’re not bad.”
Trump’s stint hosting the iconic variety show has been hugely controversial, drawing protests from prominent Hispanic groups around the country and multiple speeches on the floor of the House by members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. The protests center on inflammatory remarks Trump has made about the Hispanic community since his campaign launch in June, when he said many undocumented Mexican immigrants were rapists.
The earlier controversy led NBC to cut ties with Trump over the show “The Apprentice,” which he starred on for more than a decade.