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Donald Trump, Who’s Not a Comedian, Thought It Would Be a Great Idea to Improvise During His SNL Hosting Gig

We’ve previously heard from former and current Saturday Night Live cast members about how bizarre it was to have then–presidential candidate Donald Trump host the show last fall. Taran Killam said Trump “struggled to read” his scripts and didn’t seem too enthused to be hosting, while Pete Davidson also reiterated how Trump “doesn’t really know how to read” and often tried to re-tool his lines during table reads. Now, former SNL-er Jon Rudnitsky has shared how Trump tried to frequently improvise during his episode, which is a Studio 8H cardinal sin. “On set, he would be like, ‘I’m going to riff — I’m just going to riff here,’” Rudnitsky explained to People. “By the way, nobody riffs on SNL. Not Will Ferrell, not anybody in the history of SNL has ever riffed. There are cue cards there for a reason, it’s live. And he went off on the show, and you can kind of tell when he’s trying to do a thing. You’re like, ‘Eh, you’re not a comedian.’”

Rudnitsky also reiterated how Trump would be adverse to sketch ideas that portrayed him in a negative light. “He had trouble with the sketches, and if a sketch wasn’t complimentary about him — mainly physically — he wasn’t into it,” he said. “He’d go, ‘It’s cute, but no — next.’ He was just onto the next if it wasn’t about how great he was. I mean, there were some really funny sketches that he just didn’t get. His sense of humor is definitely skewed.” For what it’s worth, SNL doesn’t regret having Trump host.

Donald Trump Tried to Improvise During His SNL Hosting Gig