The Reviews Are in: Donald Trump Bombs On SNL

Now that is it’s all over, it turns out that the hype that engulfed Donald Trump’s appearance on Saturday Night Live was more entertaining than the actual show. There are barely any reviews that have anything positive to say about either Trump’s performance, or that of the regular cast and writers.

Donald Trump Racist

The big problem with Trump hosting the show, and the reason the protests were so pronounced, was never about the debate between opposing political ideologies. It was about the noxious validation of an unrepentant hate monger. Would SNL proffer an invitation to a KKK leader if they thought it would produce big ratings? One can only hope not. Likewise, the role of political satire is not to suck up to the rich and powerful, but to slather them in mockery. On that level SNL failed miserably.

Even with regard to ratings, SNL failed to achieve much of a victory. The program did not break any records. It did exceed their other programs over the past three years (not a long time frame for a show that’s been on the air for more than forty years), but fell below such non-talents as Sarah Palin and Charles Barkley. And the reviews for Trump were decidedly unflattering to say the least. Here’s a short sampling of the damage:

  • New York Times: “S.N.L.” stuck with obvious, anemic political riffs and apolitical sketches that were cringeworthy all around.
  • Los Angeles Times: “SNL” seemed so bent on appearing nonpartisan that it over-compensated and forgot its actual mandate: Be funny.
  • The Wrap: In its 41st season, the show would rather play along with the wealthy and powerful than satirize them.
  • Yahoo TV: Host Donald Trump kicked off this week’s Saturday Night Live with an opening monologue that demonstrated all the reasons it wasn’t a good idea for him to host SNL. […] The only entity that came off worse than Donald Trump was SNL.
  • Variety: Most of the sketches involving Trump were weak, timid or predictable.
  • Time: His episode of SNL was among the most anodyne in the show’s recent history.
  • Washington Post: Trump’s sorry night on ‘SNL’: An overhyped bummer for us all.
  • Townhall: Trump on SNL Was Dull, Unfunny.
  • Greg Gutfeld, Fox News: They deliberately wrote nothing, as a protest. It’s like a restaurant cook spitting on someone’s food.

The last two in this list were specifically included to show that it isn’t just the “liberal” media ganging up The Donald. Gutfeld’s paranoid observation that there was a conspiracy by the writers to tank Trump is especially ludicrous. Why would they do so knowing that it would make them look just as atrocious as their star? They have their own careers to consider.

The one moment in the show that was universally applauded was Larry David’s heckling of Trump’s opening monologue wherein he called Trump a racist. David was cashing in on the actual offer by Latino activist group Deport Racism to pay $5,000 to anyone in the SNL audience who called Trump a racist on the air. The group says that it will honor the offer and pay the prize to David (not that he needs it). SNL’s attempt at a preemptive strike to dilute the impact of an audience member disrupting the show backfired because David’s disruption got far more people talking about Trump’s bigotry than an unknown person in the audience would have.

Trump, on the other hand, was stiff and painfully humor-challenged. What’s worse, he managed to make himself appear even less presidential than he has on the campaign trail this year (not an unimpressive feat). It probably won’t hurt him among his supporters because, by definition, their judgment is pitifully defective.

But the real losers in all of this are NBC, who reversed their pledge to cut ties with Trump due to his offensive remarks, and SNL, who are demonstrating a crushing weakness in what should be their core comedic competence. It’s a sad decline for the program that seems to be accelerating downward. And following this disgraceful capitulation to a bully bigot, you have to wonder what’s next for SNL.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Donald Trump SNL


18 thoughts on “The Reviews Are in: Donald Trump Bombs On SNL

  1. Ratings uber alles, the conservative measure of quality. Figures.

    • That’s a mistake wingnuts regularly make. The highest rated shows on TV are often trash. The #1 restaurant in America is McDonalds, which most people would agree does not mean they have the best food. Or as I put in graphic form…

      • Your argument implied that ratings define a program’s worth. They don’t.

        • If that is what you’re taking from it – you’re wrong. I’m not trying to suggest anything like that. What I am suggesting. and rightly so. is that the ratings confirm his appearance was something – good or bad – that people were interested in seeing. Nothing more. The significance is more about how badly you all wanted it to fail – which it didn’t at least in audience size. The tantrum didn’t work and this “hated racist” was successful in pulling an audience.

        • Here’s my reply to the community pest below: why yes, yes it did. Otherwise why bother mentioning the ratings in the first place?

      • Some of “the people” did not want Trump on NBC at all – that’s the point. NBC did fire him, but then, NBC wants ratings, like every other network, so they invited him back. It’s as simple as that. No need for principles or quality when you get good ratings. Bill O’Reilly constantly proves that. How According to Jim stayed on the air for years despite being total crap is a testament to that. The same with SNL, really — and The Simpsons as well — neither one has been consistently funny for decades and both have been living on fumes and their reputation for at least that long.

        And when Trump finally drops out of the race, you can bet all the networks will be pouncing on him to contract his next TV series.

        I am SO glad I don’t have cable.

    • And the sycophant speaks – quality wasn’t my concern, it was the nonsubjective proof he is what the people wanted vs. the liberal fascists who were desperate to convince people and the network he shouldn’t be on the public airwaves. It is direct and indisputable proof the frantic/desperate attempts to have the people (ie audience) reject his presence because you people think his “racist” views should not be permitted. So, no matter what subjectiver measures are presented in the article, he attracted more viewers to SNL than anyone has since 2012 – that is undeniable. And it’s more proof the people of this country don’t really care what you leftists think.

      • In which the verbal diarrhea troll presumes to speak for “the people” and hilarious scorn ensues.

        • Not speaking for the people – just stating observations. Very easy to do with this blog since you all actually believe you are peddling what people want. I know it’s hard to have reality thrown in your face when it’s not what you want to hear. It does end up being fun though.

          • You’re g-damned right you don’t speak for “the people.” However, you absolutely claimed to.

  2. I concur with Jim Newell of Slate: “If there was a single moment of extended value on this hopefully forgettable night, it was cast member Bobby Moynihan securing a solid “Weekend Update” bloc to make fun of the stereotypical Trump fan via his Drunk Uncle character. “I don’t just like him, Colin. I love him. He’s going to make America grapes again,” he slurred. “I mean, he’s got it all, Colin. He’s got everything. Money, women, TV shows, Miss America, orange hair. He’s perfect. He’s like a big old beautiful Monopoly man.” Here we have a moment that didn’t involve a workman-like Donald Trump reading cards. Instead we saw a supposedly satirical character saying precisely what real warm-blooded Americans who support Trump for president think.”

    To para-phrase John McCain, ” He’s stirred up the Crazies, and they tuned in, in mass, to watch The Donald.” That, combined with the curious who tuned in for the “spectacle” all witnessed the beginning of the end of the Trump campaign.

  3. Well, we tend to reject a lot of your b/s, Steve, so care to try an answer to your own question?

    • You must enjoy it – your posts frequently embody both.

      • I’ll leave that to you. Me, I’ve got a few more hours to my day…

        • Hmm. I seem to have responded to a vacuum. Come on, Mark, Steve wasn’t THAT bad…. 🙂

          • He has moments. However, the past dozen or so of his comments were either insults or other childish taunts that didn’t advance a dialog or even stay on topic. His comments just cluttered up the thread with garbage and negativity. He is not technically banned (yet), and his comments will post if they are civil and on topic. Otherwise he is just a troll draining resources and attention, which no blog should tolerate.

            Sorry your comments, and others, got left hanging.

  4. Was anybody else reminded of Nixon on Laugh-In?

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