Saturday Night Live has been thriving on election humor pretty much since its inception, and though we’re not picking a new president for nearly 13 months, the show already has 2016 comedy gold mines just landing in its lap, chief among them GOP Presidential Candidate and Walking Tanning Bed Cautionary Tale Donald Trump.
SNL loves Trump, and we know that because the show opened its 41st season with a sketch devoted to The Donald and all of his campaign shenanigans over the summer, so even before the season got rolling, there was the question: Would Trump actually appear on the show? Mere weeks ago Trump himself said he was “not allowed” to talk about an appearance, and maybe that’s because NBC was already preparing to sign him up.
The network announced today that Trump will not only appear on, but host the November 7 episode of SNL, with musical guest Sia. Trump previously hosted the show in 2004, but this time he’s doing it as the most talked-about presidential candidate in a very crowded field, surrounded by a cast and writing staff that’s mercilessly mocked him over the last three weeks. It might be a classic, and it might be a trainwreck, but either way it’s going to be a ratings smash.
Appearing on Saturday Night Live is a popular path to more likability for politicians. Everyone from Sarah Palin to John McCain to Barack Obama to Hillary Clinton (who visited for this season’s premiere) has popped up in recent years to prove they can take a joke at their own expense, but Trump’s doing something different with the hosting gig. He’s not just popping up for one sketch. He’s daring the show to put him in charge for 90 minutes, daring the writers to do their worst, and daring America to change the channel when he knows we’re not about to miss this shit.