Comedian Chris Rock recently revealed that he was the one who convinced fellow comedian Aziz Ansari to go after Donald Trump during his opening monologue on Saturday Night Live the day after the president’s inauguration.
Rock told New York magazine that Ansari ran his set by him and Rock persuaded him to get political: “I remember he was running his [monologue] set by me, and he was going to do all this relationship stuff. And I was like, ‘Dude, you’re insane. You can’t be on Saturday Night Live the day after the inauguration and talk about getting a girlfriend. Tonight you gotta be George Carlin. You gotta be political.’”
It looks like Ansari took Rock’s advice to heart, because he pulled no punches in opening his monologue with: “I’m sure there’s a lot of people 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. I’m just here for the tunes! I don’t know about that other stuff. I just like the dancing and the music. I don’t condone the extracurriculars.’ If you think about it, Donald Trump is basically the Chris Brown of politics. And ‘Make America Great Again’ is his ‘These hoes ain’t loyal.’”
The Master of None star, who is of South Asian descent, also addressed the racist sentiments that cropped up in some groups of Americans. “I’m talking about the people who were like, as soon as Trump won, were like, ‘We don’t have to pretend like we’re not racist anymore!’” he said.
“If you’re one of those people, please go back to pretending…. We never realized how much effort you were putting into the pretending, but you got to go back to pretending. I know it’s been a rough couple of years: Obama, Empire, Hamilton, hit after hit after hit. Star Wars movies, where the only white characters are Stormtroopers…. But you just gotta stop.”
Ansari’s monologue was widely acclaimed and viewed nearly 4 million times on YouTube.
Rock went on to say he believes the monologue catapulted Aziz into a new kind of celebrity. “You ever watch somebody get more famous right in front of your eyes?” he said. “I watched it that night, and it was like, ‘Oh, wow, you’re a bigger star right now than you were five minutes ago.’”
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