Love him or hate him there is one certitude that the ever controversial Donald Trump yields and that’s TV ratings. The republican frontrunner hosted Saturday Night Live (SNL) this past weekend and helped propel the show to its highest audience ratings since 2012.
Much to the dismay and anger of many, SNL went ahead with its plan to have Donald Trump host the show which subsequently received a number of unflattering critical reviews including the New York Times which described the episode as having "obvious, anemic political riffs and apolitical sketches that were cringeworthy all around".
Prior to the episode NBC has come under mounting pressure to cancel Trump’s appearance due to his racist comments towards Mexicans in his presidential announcement speech.
Latino advocacy groups, politicians and media observers had all lobbied NBC to pull Trump from the show, citing the move as nothing more than a ratings ploy, however the channel pressed on with its plans, confident that the audience figures would be record breaking which they were- up 53 per cent from last November's average, according to preliminary ratings.
The episode may not have done as much for his image as Trump had hoped. The reviews of the show have been critical of the 69 year-old’s jokes which have been disparaged as irrelevant and off the mark.
The most acclaimed parts of the programme have actually been the parts where Trump was made fun of. Seinfeld co-creator and Curb Your Enthusiasm star Larry David has been recently playing presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on the show and the comedian was behind the most memorable part of Saturday’s airing. From off stage David shouted “you’re a racist” before joking he heard he would receive $5,000 for saying it.
The show appeared to be revelling in making fun of the reality TV star to his face but the criticism was never that damming as many of the Trump-centric pieces, which have offended so many, seemed to be dismissed with a light chuckle by the SNL writers.