On Saturday, a day after Donald Trump officially became the President of the United States, comic artist Aziz Ansari became the first South Asian to host Saturday Night Live since the sketch show made its debut in 1975. The irony of the occasion was not lost on Ansari, whose parents moved to the US in the 1980s. “Pretty cool to know though that he’s probably at home right now watching a brown guy making fun of him,” began Ansari, who also became the first Indian American to win an Emmy.
“Crazy couple of days,” he continued. “Yesterday, Trump was inaugurated. Today an entire gender protested against him,” he said referring to the mass protests staged by women across the world against the US president and his policies.
“I’m sure a lot of people voted for Trump, the same way a lot of people listen to the music of Chris Brown,” Ansari quipped, imploring the audience not to demonise the 63 million US citizens who voted for the real estate magnate, adding, “Where it’s like, ‘I’m just here for the music and dancing, I don’t condone the extracurriculars’,” before going on to outline his thesis: “If you think about it Donald Trump is basically the Chris Brown of politics, and Make America Great Again is his These Hoes Ain’t Loyal.”
A substantial portion of Ansari’s 10-minute opening monologue was also devoted to the casual racism of Trump’s campaign and his followers. “I’m talking about the tiny group of people who have gotten fired up about Trump for the wrong reasons,” Ansari said. “As soon as Trump won, they were like, we don’t have to pretend like we are not racist anymore.”
“You gotta go back to pretending,” was his message to what he called the “lower case KKK” movement of “casual white supremacy”.
And Ansari also had a solution for Donald Trump. “Don’t tweet about me being lame, or the show being lame,” he said referring to Trump’s tendency to go off on social media against any criticism directed towards him. “Write a speech denouncing these people.”