Colin Jost has admitted at least one episode of Saturday Night Live hasn’t stood the test of time. Predictably, Donald Trump is very much involved. Jost was interviewed on MSNBC while promoting his new memoir A Very Punchable Face and was asked about a line from the book where he addressed Trump’s infamous 2015 appearance hosting SNL, where he danced to a parody of Hotline Bling while running for president.
In the book, Jost compared the appearance in SNL history to a Confederate statue and elaborated on that sentiment in the interview.
“There have been some hosts over the years who are real “confederate statues” of entertainment,” Jost wrote. “And that episode of SNL has not aged well, politically or comedically.”
Asked about that line by Andrea Mitchell, Jost called the appearance “surreal” and detailed how he feels Trump used ‘SNL’ on his way to the White House.
“I write about it in the book because I wanted people to have a sense of what that was like behind the scenes. Just look at this clip that’s playing,” Jost says as Trump’s Hotline Bling video played in a box alongside his face. “All these clips are so surreal when you look back. I think it also speaks to what he’s done and how he can feel charming or even manipulative sometimes with people.”
Jost joked about other people who have also written about Trump in recent months and how they share a similar experience with Trump manipulating them and then moving on.
“Think about it with all the people in his administration that he’s gone through and people that have learned that lesson and are now writing books about it,” he said. “I wanted people to be able to understand what was going on while he hosted and what that week was like because it was a pretty weird week for us on a lot of levels.”
Jost pointed out that Trump was not a passive host at all, and was at every rehearsal the show had even while he was running a national campaign that would eventually get him elected president.
“I think most people assumed in America that he would be burned out by that point and that campaign would have been over,” he said. “Instead he was fully in the middle of the campaign and somehow was also hosting our show every day.”
SNL alum Taran Killam has publicly spoken about the episode as well, saying how much the cast and writers “hated” the experience. So at the very least it’s a re-confirmation from the show’s co-head writer that those involved ultimately regret what happened. In a slightly related story, Jost has said in other promotional interviews that he’s “definitely” returning to the sketch comedy show despite admitting earlier in the month he wasn’t sure what his future holds.