SNL: Watch Aziz Ansari's Powerful Donald Trump Monologue and More

Master of None‘s Aziz Ansari made his Saturday Night Live hosting debut this weekend, presiding over the first episode since Donald Trump was officially sworn in as president of the United States.

The Parks and Rec alum wasted no time mocking the new commander-in-chief, which more than made up for the absence of impersonator Alec Baldwin. The episode also featured an ode to outgoing prez Barack Obama, a message from Beck Bennett’s Vladimir Putin, and a sketch in which Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway channeled Chicago‘s Roxie Hart.

BEST: OPENING MONOLOGUE
Ansari cut deep with a razor-sharp stand-up set that not only referred to POTUS as the “Chris Brown of politics,” but alleged that a subset of Trump supporters — aka “The Lowercase KKK” — started a “casual” white supremacy movement. After pleading that those previously closeted racists go back to pretending they’re not bigots (“I know it’s been a rough couple of years — Obama, EmpireHamilton…  —  but you gotta stop”), Ansari left the audience with a message of hope: “Change doesn’t come from presidents. Change comes from large groups of angry people,” he said. “And if Day 1 is any indication, you are part of the largest group of angry people I have ever seen.”

BEST: BEDROOM
Melissa Villaseñor was an absolute riot here, playing a woman incapable of talking dirty to her boyfriend. Her ineptitude became more evident as the sketch went on, first referring to her lover as “Dad” instead of “daddy” and to herself as “the baddest girl in sixth grade,” then later launching into an impression of a certain Wedding Crasher.

BEST: LA LA LAND INTERROGATION
There are those who liked La La Land, the musical starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, and then there are those who really liked it. This hysterical interrogation saw Ansari’s character harangued by a pair of detectives who were unwilling to accept the idea that the Golden Globe-winning film dragged a little. Cecily Strong was especially good, generating the biggest laugh when she argued that “Ryan Gosling didn’t learn piano from scratch so some little prick could nitpick.”

BEST: KELLYANNE CONWAY
Conway’s latest interview with Jake Tapper is transformed into a song-and-dance number during which she reveals that her ultimate goal was never to help get Trump elected, but to make herself a star. McKinnon is fantastic, but what else is new?!

HONORABLE MENTION: BARACK OBAMA TRIBUTE
Cecily Strong and Sasheer Zamata’s musical ode to Obama wasn’t anywhere near as polished as McKinnon’s post-election tribute to Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, which is perhaps why it wasn’t chosen to open the show. Be that as it may, the sentiment was just as genuine, and it was nice to see SNL acknowledge the outgoing president in some way.

WORST: A PAID MESSAGE FROM THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION
Baldwin’s Trump may not be needed every week, but he was sorely missed in the post-inauguration show. Bennett’s Putin simply isn’t funny enough to carry an entire sketch, during which the Russian bigwig admitted that the man he helped get elected wasn’t off to a great start. Not even my beloved Olya could save this underwhelming cold open.

What were your favorite sketches of the night? And what missed the mark? Grade the episode via our poll, then hit the comments and make your picks.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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103 Comments
  1. Magali says:

    Best opening monologue in a very long time. Thank you Aziz

  2. Raftrap says:

    Best episode so far, funny from start to finish, Aziz killed it

  3. Fan says:

    I miss the old days when SNL was funny and not a leftist political show. We get it, you guys wanted Hillary and nothing but. Politics, Politics, Politics How about some actualy funny sketches?

    • CJKatl says:

      Couldn’t agree more. I have not watched at all this season. I keep checking the review in the morning to see if there might have been a sketch worth watching on Netflix, but so far this year, nothing has seemed worth watching. Smug just isn’t funny.

    • Kelly says:

      I agree also. It just seems like SNL is taking the easy way out and doing Trump jokes and not even trying to do other comedy. When I saw Weekend Update, I laughed more at the non-political jokes. Please note that I said “laughed more”, not “laughed hard”. It’s been a while since I laughed hard while watching SNL. Oh, and like Fan, I also did not vote for Trump.

    • Jodi says:

      ^^^^This!!!

    • Josh says:

      What days where those?

    • rowan77 says:

      When did you start watching the show? It started out very political in 1975 and continued to be that way.

      • William says:

        as long as the politics were up their lane they got a easy pass.Lib .hypocrits

        • dumont says:

          Gee whiz, Trump supporters don’t have much of a sense of humor – I guess their speed is SMALL WONDER reruns.

        • rowan77 says:

          No, every time someone in politics was a Numpty or unethical, SNL pointed that out. Just turns out that Republicans behave openly more unethically than the Dems seem to and that makes them Numpties – and ridiculed more often. Sorry if you don’t like that your representatives are scummy. Next time don’t vote for them.

        • Chris says:

          Right cuz they never made fun of Obama in the last eight years or other democrats . If you don’t want your party to be made fun of stop making it so damn easy lol

        • dan says:

          Not Always. Norm Macdonald used to savage the Clintons on Weekend Update. Norm was the person who broke my faith in the Clintons as a kid and opened my eyes to their corruption.

        • Temperance says:

          Says the followers of a political party that defines treason.

          • Leia says:

            Which party would that be, the party of the plantation, or the banker party, by the way they are one and the same, and not republican, that was the hint, oh gave it away, and treason is letting your folks die overseas and then lying about it

    • Tom Sillers says:

      They’ve always done political sketches, and there’s even more reason to do them now, but it doesn’t surprise me that all of a sudden Deplorables think SNL should give up political content.

      • The Beach says:

        Of course they have…always. I remember Chevy Chase lampooning Gerald Ford’s clumsiness way, way back in the day.

    • liame says:

      I’m still looking for those old days…I don’t think they exist.

    • trista says:

      Couldn’t have said it better myself! It’s not even enjoyable anymore.

    • Annabelle says:

      When was this? Back when America was “great?”

    • Snart says:

      Back in the day NO ONE was safe from SNL. I loved Obama too, but the blatant stroke fest for him and Hills has been awkward and a tad odd. I used to never miss an episode in the 80s and 90s but now its lost what made is special. Instead of going after everyone, they’re isolating the ones they want to make farces of while doing “inspiring” impressions of other similarly corrupt pols, complete with their own “drop the mic” moments. And it’s this kind of thing that got Drumf elected in the first place. Theres a good reason the entertainment industry wants to divide us and why the pols are using celebs to push their agendas. Theyre NOT us. They dont represent US. Millionaires trying to represent the 99%

      • KatsMom says:

        And yet, people elected a billionaire who’s now surrounding himself with other billionaires from Wall Street. THEY’re going to represent the 99% better. Reversing the HUD decision to cut mortgage insurance rates in the first hours of their administration definitely shows they’re looking out for the 99%. I’m sure none of those people could have used the extra few hundred dollars a year (on average) that the cut was going to save. And all those people who would have been able to afford a mortgage thanks to the reduction. Oh well, I’m sure they love paying rent and the instability that living in someone else’s property provides. Good choice to paint those celebs, many of whom came from poor backgrounds, as out of touch rich people. They’re definitely the problem here.

      • And now we have a committee of BILLIONAIRES hand picked by the Drumpf to represent us. I don’t feel represented by a billionaire. In fact they seem like highly unapproachable people. Humor works best when punching up. Punching down seems mean spirited.

    • Temperance says:

      It’s the same as always. I suggest that you join the rest of your awful, humorless ilk and not watch.

    • Aeol says:

      SNL has always been provocative when it comes to politics, since they spoofed Gerald Ford in their first episode. What show have you been watching all these years?

    • peterwdawson says:

      When? They’ve been making fun of Presidents since at least the 1980s.

      • Snart says:

        I know theyve been making FUN of presidents since the first episode, I was actually referring to the stroke fest that was the “to sir with love” bit. And even if Drumf us surrounding himself with billionaires, i’m referring to the show and the actors/famous people that think theyre speaking for us, when in reality they’re all money too. We’re all being played, people. Trump or whomever, its all the same. I was too poor to get a mortgage before this mess, so it dont matter to me that its twice as hard now. I’m still poor as I was last week and my rent is still too damn high. I’ll maybe last another 10 or 20 years, and I hope I can at least qualify for low income housing before I go. You still wanna tell me SNL is in touch with folk like me?

        • peterwdawson says:

          You’re confusing me with someone who gives a damn if SNL is ‘in touch’ or not. Virtually all popular media isn’t because it’s selected by rich people to be given to the masses. We’re apparently having two very different conversations though since that isn’t what prompted by initial post at all, rather a pointed remark about there really being no such thing as ‘the good old days’, especially when it comes to SNL and politics.

    • KCC says:

      As I recall the cold opening to the very first SNL was Chevy Chase’s “impersonation” of Gerald Ford that ended with him falling and saying “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!” for the first time. SNL has always included political humor and has made fun of every president since 1975, not just Republicans. Dan Aykroyd’s Carter and Darrell Hammond’s Clinton were staples on SNL during those presidencies. Why anyone would think they would stop with a president that seems tailor made to lampoon is beyond me.

    • shelly says:

      SNL is not a leftist political show. The show is an equal opportunity left/right political offender. No one is safe. They have always done political sketches on both Rep and Dem. I never understood why some whine about the sketches done on Trump, but they always seem to forget the sketches done on Presidents: Obama, Clinton, Bush, W. Bush, and Regan; Gov Sarah Palin, Sec Clinton.; Sen Saunders, etc.

  4. rebecca says:

    That opening monologue.. wow. Well done, Aziz!

  5. Kari says:

    Leslie Jones plugging Timeless!

  6. Fan says:

    Before I get barbequed by comments, let me also say that I am not necessarily a Trump man, I just didn’t like Hillary herself. I would have voted for VP Biden in a heartbeat.

    • CJKatl says:

      Agree with you here, too. HRC failed big as SOS, did nothing as a Sen and failed in her healthcare initiative as FLOTUS. The lies, the email mess and the Clinton Foundation corruption were icing on the cake. Biden would have won.

      • Patrick says:

        If you didn’t vote against Trump, then you effectively voted for Trump. Don’t blame HRC for your vote. Accept the consequences of your actions.

        • Chris says:

          Well said Patrick.

        • Temperance says:

          Exactly. She wasn’t running to be your best friend.

        • KCC says:

          Someone that didn’t vote for Clinton does NOT mean they voted for Trump. Voting for Trump required casting a vote FOR him. It’s the Democratic Party’s fault for not nominating someone that could energize more people to support their candidate than the Republicans. With Trump running that should have been a simple task but they failed. I voted for Clinton as someone I could live with, not because I was enthusiastic about voting. In 14 presidential elections it’s the first time I felt guilty about my vote and reason for it. It left a bad taste in my mouth.
          I can understand people not being energized to vote, given the choices. Expecting people to vote for your candidate so the opponent does not win is not a strategy that should ever be counted on to win an election. It’s not an endorsement of your candidate or of the democratic process. It shows a failure of both parties when that happens. I think most the people that voted for Trump really believe in him. I don’t know I could say the same for Clinton. What kind of win would it be if your “supporters” don’t vote for you or your policies but because they hate the other candidate enough to vote against him. When that happens it’s the democratic system loses.

    • Aeol says:

      Do you have a comment about the article or the show?

  7. Paula Page says:

    Aziz did a good job on the monologue. He largely copied the framework of Dave Chapelle’s monologue in November, but that’s ok. He pulled it off.

    • Chris says:

      Because he also did stand up for his monologue ? Aziz has been doing stand up for his entire career and has five specials

  8. rob horine says:

    Ansari is overrated as a comic.

  9. William says:

    i wouldnt piss on the Lib if he was on fire… or SNL in general..the last time i watched that show was when it was actually loaded with talent like chase,murry belushi etc.. you all stink along with your liberal antiamerican politics…p*** off!

    • Angela says:

      Wow. You sure convinced everyone else here with your well thought out, intelligent, calm, rational post.
      .
      Grow up.

    • Sabrina says:

      I thought Chase, Murray, et al were labeled “Anti-American” in the 70s. (Yeah, I know this is trolling, but seriously, I thought SNL has always tried to be subversive….)

    • TJ says:

      So you would like to see liberals burn to death? Wow, very Christian of you. Way to “Make America Again”!

    • kayw4 says:

      Look I know you’re a troll and all, but considering what your dear leader has done, you might want to choose a different analogy than actually urinating on someone… also, btw, the politics of those older comedians you cite make the current line-up look positively centrist. But I guess we’re doing a Conway-style “alternate facts” version of the past here, right?

    • Temperance says:

      Ah, a Trump troll. How much are you getting paid?

    • Aeol says:

      Bless your heart!

  10. Moshe says:

    Aziz killed it. In my opinion he elevated SNL and I hope he comes back soon.
    I’ve been waiting for an episode this good.

  11. pickles says:

    I guess mean spirit and hatred is the new funny.

    • Chris says:

      How was it mean spirited he stated facts ? I guess I should probably explain what a fact is thought since you voted for trump and don’t know what they are.

  12. Raul J says:

    This show has become nothing but a shill for the loony left. Funny it is not. If they made an attempt to be balanced and made fun of the left as well as the right it would be different but the constant one sidedness is offensive and pathetic.

  13. Kevin says:

    I give it an A. One of the best episodes this season and both Aziz and musical guest Big Sean killed it.

    • Paula Page says:

      I think it was a great episode, though I would rate Dave Chapelle’s show in November much higher. But there were some great skits, and Aziz did a good job. [Aziz copied the framework of Chapelle’s monologue – which turned out to be a good decision.]

  14. rob horine says:

    If Belushi came back to life and saw what SNL has become, he would die again!

  15. Scott says:

    Don’t watch anymore can’t take idiot liberals crying every week because Hillary lost . Get over it and move on and grow up you pathetic liberals your not funny anymore just stupid

    • Chris says:

      Right like all you people did when Obama was elected, do you know what hypocrisy means ?

      • rob horine says:

        And your side told us to accept Obama without question. In fact any question of Obama’s past connections with Ayers, questions about Obama’s transcripts or his flip flopping on Gay marriage (he was against it before he was for it, were all met with cries from the left of “RACIST!”

        It’s time to follow your own advice. But you won’t, cause liberals are so morally superior.

        • Chris says:

          No I don’t think I’m morally superior definitely smarter cuz I didn’t believe trumps lies, Andrew I won’t stop voicing my opinions to our racist presidents because the constitution gives me the right to speak my mind

  16. KLS says:

    I remember some time back when SNL was skewered against having “TV Stars” as hosts. Here Ansari is described for his TV efforts only, and nothing. Go figure.

  17. Wendy says:

    Great job by Aziz Ansari – funny and a great message. The Conway – Chicago skit was my highlight.

    Omitting Trump from the opening was the right choice. Showing the puppet’s master was a great taunt to the narcissist expecting to see himself. Should have been a bit shorter though.

  18. James says:

    Politics. The biggest reason SNL hasn’t been funny since the 80’s.

  19. Brad says:

    I have a question and don’t care for bashing, but an honest, non-political question…Alec Baldwin is being praised for his Donald Trump impression on SNL, playing him as smug, crazy, and disrespectful (not only to women) but in general…does everyone forget his hateful voicemail to his own daughter, Ireland, where he called her among other things, a pig? I’m finding this a little ironic. I know he didn’t use the language Trump has, but the subtext is the same in my opinion? Just a thought.

    • loveNY says:

      Shhhh. Don’t remind them of Alec’s bad behavior, it doesn’t fit their agenda that Alec Baldwin is no saint, to say the least. But you know, all is forgiven as long as you make “good” movies or “good” impressions of people who you are no better than.

      • Brad says:

        Agree loveNY. It’s baffling to me how all is forgotten now. It is very ironic that he is praised for mocking Trump when he was just as guilty in the past, but it’s never brought up. To me, this defines being a hypocrite, a word that has been thrown around too much lately.

      • Wayne says:

        That’s real rich coming from a Republican snowflake/Trump mushroom. Y’all melt when confronted about how Trump lies. And you love staying in the dark and being fed loads of BS….

        • loveNY says:

          I didn’t say I voted for Trump (gasp! I actually voted for HRC) but you got pretty defensive there very quickly. I merely pointed out the hypocrisy of bashing Trump while praising Baldwin. I remember what Trump has done over the years. I also remember what Alec Baldwin has done and don’t see him as being any better than Trump. Pots and kettles really.

          • Wayne says:

            Alright. I apologize. I’m just tired of people deflecting to things that don’t matter when there is way bigger stuff going on. What Alec said on the VM was disgusting and vile. To me, that doesn’t matter when it comes to him skewering Agent Orange. It’s just SNL having a go. It’s like Trump and Spicer are attempting to gaslight America with this inauguration numbers BS but lets not forget some voicemails that Alec Baldwin left his daughter years ago. I can’t even care.

    • KatsMom says:

      I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but there are a couple of key differences between Baldwin and Trump for me.
      .
      First, Baldwin’s not president, nor is he seeking the office. The president has always been seen as a role model, especially for children. The standards of behavior are, and should be, much higher as such. While I don’t doubt that many people have actors as their role models, Baldwin’s not exactly known for his family-friendly fare. And, in this case, he’s lampooning Trump on a late night TV show that is definitely not intended for children. Thus, he can get away with more than a guy who wants to be a highly visible idol for our entire nation, including the children.
      .
      Second, unlike Trump, Baldwin’s actually acknowledged his bad behavior and apologized for it. They may not have been the most heartfelt of apologies, but there’s at least a bit of recognition that he behaved badly. The Narcissist-in-Chief, however, always doubles down on the righteousness of his actions, shifts the blame, and ultimately says that his actions resulted in some triumph that ultimately excuses the entire situation.
      .
      Finally, I find Trump’s comments in which he expresses the notion that he somehow has authority over all women he may find attractive by virtue of his station in life much more troubling than Baldwin yelling at his daughter. While both were private conversations, Trump’s comments reflected an astonishing lack of respect for women as a whole. Baldwin’s comments, as I remember them, were limited to his daughter’s behavior (and her mother’s). He didn’t show her much respect, but it seemed like she hadn’t been showing him any respect either. Maybe she was justified and he was not, but there’s just not enough information to go on. To be fair though, I’ve got a bit of a warped view on these things because, as a divorce attorney, I’ve seen plenty of outbursts like Baldwin’s and many that were even worse. It’s extremely frustrating for parents to have to share their children with someone they just can’t get along with anymore. With Trump, while I know that most men objectify women, I don’t think most men also suggest that assaulting women is a right bestowed upon famous rich guys. Baldwin’s certainly seemed entitled at times, but not to such a dangerous degree. I wouldn’t want my daughters spending much time with either of these guys, frankly, but my level of anxiety about them being with Baldwin would be much less than with Trump.

      • loveNY says:

        Baldwin’s bad behavior wasn’t limited to his daughter. He’s been a jerk (putting it mildly, but it’s a public forum so I won’t use language they both deserve) for a long time. Frankly, I wouldn’t trust my daughters with either of them. But then again, I wouldn’t trust them with a lot of politicians or a lot of Hollywood. I have no problem with SNL making fun of an arrogant jerk, I just think it’s hypocritical and tasteless when it’s another arrogant jerk who’s doing it.

        • KatsMom says:

          Yeah, I saw your response above too agreeing with Brad that it’s inappropriate. I disagree and gave my personal reasons for not objecting because Brad asked for explanations from people like me. Brad focused on the incident with Ireland, so I limited my answer to that incident. I’m aware of Baldwin’s other asinine behavior as well. And, just as with the situation with his daughter, he responded to the public shaming and offered an apology, or otherwise expressed regret for his actions. Baldwin’s definitely not a pillar of virtue, but he’s at least capable, on occasion, of accepting criticism and responding to it appropriately. That gives him a bit of a moral high ground over Trump, in my mind that keeps this from being hypocritical or tasteless. He’s not high up on that moral ground, mind you. He’s still close enough to be able to stick out his toe and dip it in the mud, but at least he doesn’t delightedly roll around in it and fling it about at every opportunity the way Trump does.

          • loveNY says:

            It’s not just one or two incidents with him either. What does an apology amount to if you just pull the same crap over and over and over again? Like I told the person below, look up Alec Baldwin rage. His career hasn’t suffered much, I’ll grant you that. But he is still not a nice person. I just don’t like when people in glass houses throw stones. I’m sure there are other better and funnier Trump impersonators out there but I guess AB brings in ratings so nothing else matters. Thomas Gibson got fired for two incidents (that I’m aware of) from Criminal Minds. But this guy just gets a pass regardless of what he does and how many times he does it. He may not be the worst out there but he is certainly a bully.

    • Aeol says:

      No, no one forgets, because people like you who love to rehash the same old stories over and over again are constantly reminding us. You seem to forget, though, that unlike TUmp, Baldwin has apologized and made amends with his daughter.

      • loveNY says:

        Really? That’s a lot of apologies over the years. And fyi, I wasn’t talking about the incident with his daughter 10 years ago.Where did I even mention that? He’s had a lot more issues since then. And that’s just publicly. God only knows what else spin doctors kept quiet. Google Alec Baldwin rage. Trump’s not the only one who outs himself on social media.

    • Alichat says:

      Alec Baldwin is an actor. He is portraying a real life person, as actors do, so his past with his daughter isn’t relevant. He is lampooning the President, as many actors on the show have done throughout the history of the show. If Baldwin were running for President and was mocking Trump, then his past would be relevant. Plus, we haven’t really seen or heard of Baldwin doing anything like that since that incident, which may be another reason it’s not mentioned. He’s redeemed himself or at least redeemed his reputation. Trump is still saying smug, crazy, and disrespectful things. He’s making it way too easy for SNL to lampoon him in that fashion. He practically gives them the script.

  20. LAwoman says:

    This was one of the few episodes recently where I liked more sketches than I disliked. Aziz was fantastic!

  21. MTB says:

    Who’s this non American? You can get out along with the rest.

  22. Rich says:

    The bedtime talk had good lines, but it lacked soul. It would’ve been much funnier if Aziz was looking at Melissa instead of looking at cue cards over her shoulder.

  23. Linda Bryant says:

    I thought the cold open was very funny. Don’t agree with you!

  24. Tina F says:

    This episode is a testament to exactly why Trump won. Sad, bitter, whiny, pathetic losers…Its going to be a VERY LONG 4-8 years for you! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  25. Georgia Madman says:

    SNL is a perfect example of the rank hypocrisy of the Left. I see no mention of the SNL writer who made an unfunny “joke” about 10 year old Barron Trump. I’ve heard no mention of SNL quickly firing her. So no preaching to me about my morals.

  26. dman6015 says:

    Did he write most of the show, with his own writing team? None of the current SNL staff writers could come up with most of this stuff. The Bedroom Dirty Talk and the La La Land Interrogation were far superior to anything they’ve put out all year.