Despite the protests, petitions, and pressure placed on the NBC network, Donald Trump maintained his trademark focus throughout the attacks and ultimately took to the stage as host of the most recent episode of television’s iconic comedy show, “Saturday Night Live.”
Thanks to Trump’s appearance, "SNL" achieved record ratings and the GOP presidential frontrunner enhanced his image in the process, further strengthening his candidacy.
Mere days after the announcement that Trump was going to host "SNL" for a second time, a coalition of Hispanic advocacy groups penned a letter to NBC Universal and "SNL" creator-producer Lorne Michaels, demanding that the network rescind the Trump invitation.
Protesters were particularly peeved at NBC, since they were of the mindset that victories of sorts had been achieved when Trump was replaced as host of “The Celebrity Apprentice” and his Miss USA pageant’s airing was halted.
When NBC failed to respond to initial protest activities surrounding the Trump-related "SNL" flap, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus issued a statement, which called upon the network to dismiss the GOP presidential contender.
A ratcheting up of the language occurred when caucus member Rep. Loretta Sanchez appeared on a cable news channel, claiming that NBC was “endangering Latinos” by having the would-be GOP presidential nominee host the show.
NBC did not cave to the group’s demands primarily because the network, and Michaels as well, fully understood that "SNL" does superbly in the ratings arena when presidential contenders appear in an episode.
Steve Forbes and Al Sharpton served as hosts of the show while they were candidates; and George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama have made visits as have other notables who have sought to occupy the Oval Office, including Gerald Ford, Mike Huckabee, and John McCain.
In one of the most publicized schemes concocted by "SNL" protesters, a radical open borders group, DeportRacism.com, announced a $5,000 reward for anyone who would shout “Trump is a racist!” during the live broadcast.
“Live television is live television,” DeportRacism.com’s campaign director Luke Montgomery said. “It may have a delay, but it’s still live. We’re hoping someone can throw Trump off his game.”
Not only was the ploy to throw Trump off his game thwarted, the writers of the show were able to turn the scheme into comedic fodder.
Trump’s opening monologue was interrupted by the offstage shouting of “Trump’s a racist.”
However, at that moment the camera person panned in on the individual who was hurling the insult. It was none other than comedian Larry David, who within the context of the sketch explained to the in-studio and viewing audience that his words were not directed at Trump, but rather at the group offering the reward.
“I heard if I yelled that, they’d give me $5,000,” David delivered deadpan style.
“As a businessman I can fully respect that,” Trump in character replied.
The group is reportedly sending David the reward money for his timely outburst.
In another sketch, which was set in the year 2018 during the potential first term of the Trump presidency, Mexico’s president paid a visit to the White House to bring President Trump a check for the border wall, which candidate Trump has in fact proposed.
The president of Mexico also apologized for ever having doubted that Trump would do what he said he would do.
During a featured short video, Trump participated in a parody of the Drake hit “Hotline Bling” and through song and dance showed a whole new side to America at large and constituents in waiting.
Trump’s appearance on "SNL" ended up generating the largest overnight ratings since 2012.
His hosting gig resulted in a whopping 6.6 household rating that easily beat by almost 50 percent the season’s previous high scorer, which was the season premiere hosted by Miley Cyrus and featuring a guest appearance by Hillary Clinton.
Several members of the mainstream media were having virtual meltdowns at the prospect of yet another Trump triumph.
Slate published a review titled: “Why Donald Trump’s Performance on 'SNL' Was So Much Worse Than His 2004 Hosting Gig.”
Hollywood trade magazine, The Wrap, posted a piece labeled “‘Saturday Night Live’ Review: Donald Trump Episode Is NBC Franchise at Its Worst.”
Left-leaning UK Guardian weighed in with “Donald Trump on SNL: candidate’s hosting stunt was no laughing matter.”
The most outrageous comments, though, emanated from Washington Post TV critic Hank Stuever, who wrote a piece titled “Trump’s sorry night on ‘SNL’: An overhyped bummer for us all.”
Stuever maintained that David’s comedic “Trump’s a racist” line was authentic in nature.
“For all appearances, it seemed genuine enough,” Stuever wrote.
Trump’s SNL hosting is likely to have reached a multifaceted group of potential voters that he might not otherwise have been able to coalesce; that being, a politically, culturally, and demographically diverse cross section of the population.
In the end, it may even have given him the edge needed to solidify his front-runner status all the way to the nomination.
James Hirsen, J.D., M.A., in media psychology, is a New York Times best-selling author, media analyst, and law professor. Visit Newsmax TV Hollywood. Read more reports from James Hirsen — Click Here Now.
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