11:30 p.m. ET on NBC. If this guy can make this show funny, making America great again will be a snap.
If he’s smart, and he is, 80 percent of the jokes will be at his own expense. The intrigue lies with the other 20 percent. How nasty will he and the cast get with his competition? Tonight’s an unusual opportunity for Trump to humiliate the other candidates in front of a big audience, if SNL is willing to play along. A cutting joke about Carson or Bush or Rubio will become a prism through which some low-information voters view them going forward, just as Trump’s own “low energy” putdown of Jeb ended up sticking to him. That’s a big subplot tonight: How eager will the mostly liberal SNL writers be to help Trump score points against the rest of the field?
The other big subplot is whether anyone will disrupt the show. That dopey PAC that made the ad of little kids cursing at Trump over immigration has been publicizing a $5,000 reward for any audience member who shouts “Trump is a racist” while the broadcast is in progress. I’ve even seen speculation on social media that the cast itself might double-cross Trump somehow by doing something to humiliate him because of his politics. I’ll believe that when I see it, but this gets to the special intrigue of Trump appearing on this show of all shows: You never know what’ll come out of his mouth and you never know what might go wrong on live TV. Anything can happen.
Let’s face it, though. Most of the gags will be about his hair. Here’s your thread to comment if you’re watching.