After giving New Yorkers a taste of his Donald Trump impression on the eve of the inauguration during the “We Stand United” rally Thursday, Alec Baldwin must have decided he needed Saturday night off. Instead, Beck Bennett’s shirtless Vladimir Putin opened Saturday Night Live this week.
In a broadcast from RT, Putin told Americans, “Yesterday we made Donald Trump the 45th president of the United States,” adding, “Hooray! We did it, huh?”
But without Baldwin present, it was up to host Aziz Ansari to deliver the night’s most pointed message to America’s new president. And Ansari just might have been the perfect Saturday Night Live host to kick off the Donald Trump era. Not only is he remarkably the show’s first ever host of South Asian descent, but he is also one of Trump’s harshest and most hilarious comedian critics. It’s too bad his excellent Bobby Jindal impression is no longer relevant.
“I can’t believe this. I’m here hosting Saturday Night Live… the day after Trump’s inauguration,” Ansari said at the top of his monologue. “Pretty cool to know though he’s probably at home right now watching a brown guy make fun of him though, right?”
“Crazy couple of days, man,” he continued. “Yesterday, Trump was inaugurated. Today an entire gender protested against him. Wow.” But Ansari also warned against “demonizing” everyone who voted for Trump. They’re not all “dumb racist, misogynist, homophobes,” he reasoned.
“Don't judge them,” he said. “Some people have different political priorities. Some people voted for him with reservations. I'm sure a lot of people voted for Trump the same way a lot of people listen to Chris Brown, where it’s like, hey, man, I'm just here for the tunes, I don't know about that other stuff.
“If you think about it, Donald Trump is basically the Chris Brown of politics,” he said, “and ‘Make America Great Again’ is his ‘These Hoes Ain't Loyal.’” But as long as we “treat each other with respect and remember that ultimately we are all Americans,” Ansari said everything will be “fine.”
The “problem” with that, he said, is the relatively small group of people who “have gotten way too fired up about the Trump thing for the wrong reasons. These people that, as soon as Trump won they’re like, ‘We don’t have to pretend like we’re not racist anymore! We don’t have to pretend anymore! We can be racist again, wooo!’” To those people, he had a message: “Please go back to pretending. You’ve got to go back to pretending.
“I know it's been a rough couple of years. Obama, Empire, Hamilton,” Ansari said. “Star Wars movies where the only white characters are storm troopers. I get it. It's been rough. But you've got to stop. You know who I'm talking about. This new lowercase kkk movement, this casual white supremacy.”
To those who see a person of color and say stuff like, “Trump won, go back to Africa” or “Trump won, go back to Mexico,” Ansari said, “I ain't moving, OK?”
After briefly addressing Islamophobia, Ansari called on Trump to make “a real speech denouncing the lowercase kkk.” He said, “Don't tweet about me being lame or the show. Write a real speech, because these people are out there and it’s pissing people off.”
Trump’s refusal to address these issues is even making him miss George W. Bush, who delivered a message about Islam being a religion of peace after 9/11. “Sixteen years ago, I was certain this dude was a dildo,” he said of Bush “Now I'm sitting there like, he guided us with his eloquence!”
Ending on a serious note, Ansari said, “I know there are a lot of people that are worried now. This is a weird time. If you're excited about Trump, great. He's president. Let's hope he does a great job. If you're scared about Trump and you're very worried, you're going to be OK, too. Because if you look at our history, change doesn't come from presidents. Change comes from large groups of angry people. And if day one is any indication, you are part of the largest group of angry people I have ever seen.”