Donald Trump hosts ‘SNL’ amid protests

Updated

Live from New York, it’s Donald Trump!

The presidential candidate hosted “Saturday Night Live” this week, turning his controversial appearance into both a punchline and a reality.

Much like on the campaign trail, the Republican frontrunner didn’t hold back during his monologue, diving right into jokes about Rosie O’Donnell, protesters angry about his hosting the show and even fielding an interruption from Larry David.

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“Trump’s a racist!” David yelled, then admitting “I heard if I yelled that they’d give me $5,000.”

David, who played Bernie Sanders in the show’s cold open, was referencing the $5,000 promised by Latino activist group DeportRacism.com to anyone who could interrupt Trump during the show.

“As a businessman, I can fully respect that,” Trump joked back.

The real estate mogul was joined on stage by various versions of himself, each bringing their best Trump charm and favorite lines as he exclaimed that this show has been “a disaster” for him but he’s back because he knows “how to take a joke.”

Taran Killam, this season’s resident Trump impersonator, said that “the show’s gotten better by about 2 billion percent” now that Trump is on. “In fact, now that I’m out here, it’s the best monologue in ‘SNL’ history.”

Also joining the candidate on stage was former cast member-turned-announcer Darrell Hammond, who portrayed Trump during much of the 2000s, and Leslie Jones who climbed on stage wearing a spiked blond wig, promising this week’s show would be “tremendous” and “yuuuge.”

The difference between these impersonators and the real man, Trump pointed out, was they “don’t have my talent, my money, or especially my good looks.”

Despite his characteristic braggadocio, the history of the “SNL” stage wasn’t lost on Trump. He acknowledged that “over the years many greats have hosted” — giving as an example, “like me in 2004.”

But more than just a storied stage, Trump used his hosting platform to re-hash old battles, specifically one with Rosie O’Donnell. “She said some things about me that were hurtful and untrue. I said things about her that were mean but completely accurate,” he joked.

Then he brought her on stage — well, not quite. SNL featured player Aidy Bryant reminded him “my name is Aidy Bryant and I’m a cast member on this show!” Trump responded: “Isn’t she great? She just seems like a totally different person.”

Throughout the show Trump showed off different facets of his now famous political stump speeches.

During a hypothetical meeting of the Trump Administration two years into his term, Trump is handed a check from Mexico and told “as history shows us, nothing brings two countries together like a wall.” Trump thanks him, for the check and for “changing Telemundo to all English for me.”

Trump’s known penchant for tweeting was also integrated into the show — as well as his not-so-talked about dance skills, put to use during a recreation of Drake’s viral video “Hotline Bling.”

This story originally appeared on NBCNews.com

Donald Trump

Donald Trump hosts 'SNL' amid protests

Updated