Donald Trump gives himself high marks for ‘SNL’ appearance: ‘It was very well …

9 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Amid hype and protests, Donald Trump hosts ‘SNL’.

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump hadn’t gotten far into his opening monologue before trouble occurred. An off-screen heckler interrupted with a cry of “You’re a racist!” But the “heckler” was comedian Larry David, who before Trump arrived onstage had been seen impersonating Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders. “I heard if I yelled that, they’d give me $5,000,” said David with a shrug, echoing an offer made publicly by one of the Hispanic groups protesting Trump’s appearance. Trump’s 90 minutes in the “SNL” spotlight followed weeks of growing anticipation, increasingly sharp criticism and mounting calls for him to be dropped from the show.

One political action committee, Deport Racism, offered $5,000 to anyone who heckled the Republican presidential candidate during his appearance. “This is a chance to turn Trump’s appearance on the show into a media story that addresses his racist comments against Latinos,” the group writes on its website, adding, “Let’s show the world that attacking brown people is not the way to win the White House.” Deport Racism didn’t have to wait too long into the show for someone to accept the offer. And, at least in NBC’s Studio 8H, there was no more unrest — orchestrated or otherwise. (Deport Racism, the group that made the $5,000 offer, tweeted that David would get the bounty, “joke or not.”) Only hours after the broadcast, Trump was back on television and characteristically bullish about his performance, calling it “very well received and probably got very good ratings, who knows.” Very good, but not spectacular. The star turn granted Trump fanned the flames of outrage sparked in June when he announced his Republican candidacy for president and described some Mexicans who are in the United States illegally as criminals and rapists.

EST Saturday start time, dozens of protesters marched from Trump Tower to NBC’s studio in Rockefeller Plaza, chanting in both English and Spanish and carrying signs. During his monologue, Trump promised his hosting appearance would be “something special,” while noting that many people had asked him why he accepted the gig. Why?” “I hate to break it to you guys,” he told viewers, “but I’m not going to be in the next sketch.” Instead, off-camera, he live-tweeted comments that were flashed on the screen about “SNL” cast members performing a skit: By then, Syria is at peace. In Spanish, they chanted: “The people united shall never be defeated” and signs declared SNL racist. “I feel like they’re giving him a platform,” said Hazel Hernandez, 26, who emigrated from El Salvador and now lives in Brooklyn. “I’m an immigrant myself, so I’m pretty outraged. It’s upsetting.” Trump’s comments last summer spurred NBC to sever its Miss Universe ties with him while declaring he would never return to his “Apprentice” role.

But leading up to Saturday’s broadcast, NBC did not respond to accusations that it had reversed itself, or to the outcry against Trump that had built since “SNL” announced his host booking last month. Al Sharpton, in 2003 — was actively involved in a presidential bid at the time. (Hillary Clinton appeared in last month’s season premiere, but not as the host.) It wasn’t Trump’s first turn as guest host.

The billionaire developer and media personality presided in April 2004, a few weeks after he debuted as host of NBC’s “The Apprentice.” This time, while Trump demonstrated once again that he could take a joke, he was running for president.

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