Despite all of the protests, online petitions, and celebrity condemnations, it appears Donald Trump is indeed still hosting Saturday Night Live with Sia as his musical guest. Of course, this isn’t the first time Trump has hosted the show — he did so back in 2004, when Darrell Hammond’s Trump was a staple of the series — but back then he wasn’t a frontrunning presidential candidate.
And so it’s difficult to know what to expect out of the episode. There are some obvious assumptions — a Celebrity Apprentice sketch (perhaps a fake episode in which Trump leaves the show since, in real life, he is no longer hosting), at least one or two political sketches (the debate format never fails), and a sketch where Taran Killam will appear as Trump alongside the real Trump (with maybe even a Hammond cameo).
But will it be funny? Will the controversy surrounding the episode be addressed? And will the jokes be able to cross a line and actually poke biting satirical fun at Trump when he’s standing right there? Regardless of political feelings toward Trump, there’s a worry stepping into the episode of just what the final product will look like. (Trump is the first in-contention presidential candidate to host while running since Al Sharpton in 2003, though candidates make appearances all the time, as Hillary Clinton did this season.)
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It’s difficult to know what lengths the episode will go to especially if, as Trump has said himself, he supposedly had the power to veto certain sketches. At the very least, the loss of a Ben Carson dig in Trump’s promos indicates there is some hesitancy to dabble into political humor. (If we’re robbed of Kate McKinnon’s Hillary Clinton meeting Trump, no matter how sanitized the sketch itself is, that will likely give some indication of just how many ideas were scrapped.)
Much less of a question mark is the musical guest, Sia, who just debuted the music video for her song “Alive.” A performance of that track seems like a given, and maybe she can take another stab at “Chandelier” with a current SNL cast member since Kristen Wiig already had her shot?
Whatever the case for the episode may be, tune in at 11:29 p.m. ET and watch along with us as we liveblog the episode, and stay tuned for our full recap.