Aziz Ansari didn’t pull any punches during his first ever Saturday Night Live monologue. The same day that millions of people around the country and the world marched in protest of Donald Trump’s inauguration as President of the United States, Ansari celebrated hosting the show for the first time by getting political with his monologue. Ansari made some history himself just by stepping on the stage, as this hosting stint makes him the very first person of South Asian descent to take on hosting duties. It’s hard to believe the actor and comedian wasn’t feeling the effects of both good and bad historic moments taking place this week, and his monologue reflected him being in that headspace.
Ansari pilloried Trump, the KKK (or the alt-right, aka the “lowercase kkk”), and racists in general in his opening thoughts. As could be expected from Ansari’s usual stand up comedy style, the monologue was equal parts cutting humor and thoughts on real and important issues. For every joke about the fact that Donald Trump is probably sitting at home watching a brown guy make fun of him on national television or references to the Women’s March, there was a joke about people who rationalize still listening to Chris Brown’s music.
It was the kind of patriotic, hilarious, and intelligent monologue that SNL allows on its famed stage. Unsurprisingly, viewers tweeting along with Aziz’s jokes were more than pleased with the speech.
At one point in the monologue, Aziz went off on racists who tell anyone of a different race to “go back where they came from.” As much as it would be nice not to have to hope for comedy that addresses these issues, it will probably be a necessity for the next four years. How great it is then that there are people like Ansari to provide just that for the masses.