live from new york
In between Saturday Night Live's Russia-themed takedown of President Trump and a musical sendup of his adviser and spinmeister Kellyanne Conway, host Aziz Ansari urged some peace and reconciliation between Trump critics and his supporters — well, most of them, anyway. Ansari started off his monologue by saying that while Trump may be president, it's "pretty cool to know, though, he's probably at home right now watching a brown guy make fun of him." He celebrated the anti-Trump Women's Marches in Washington, D.C., and around the world — "today, an entire gender protested against him" — adding that "we should be careful, though. We can't demonize everyone who voted for Trump."
Nearly 63 million Americans voted for Trump, Ansari noted. "Don't judge them by their worst." People voted for lots of different reasons, with different levels of enthusiasm. "I'm sure there are a lot of people who voted for Trump the same way a lot of people listen to the music of Chris Brown, where it's like, 'Hey, man, I'm just here for the tunes,'" not the "extracurriculars," Ansari said. "So look, we're divided, it's okay," he said. "We've always been divided by some of these big political issues. It's fine. As long as we treat each other with respect and remember that ultimately we're all Americans, we'll be fine."
After the applause, Ansari carved out an exception to the mutual respect: the "tiny slice of people that have gotten way too fired up about the Trump thing for the wrong reasons — I'm talking about these people who as soon as Trump won, they're like, 'We don't have to pretend like we're not racist anymore!'" If you fit in this "lower-case kkk movement" of "casual white supremacy," he said, "please go back to pretending." His stand-up-style monologue offered some solutions on how to end casual racism and Islamophobia, and waxed poetic about his newfound admiration for George W. Bush. "If you're excited about Trump, great —he's president, let's hope he does a great job," Ansari said, beginning his wrap-up. "If you're scared about Trump, and you're very worried, you're going to be okay, too."