The long-running sketch series Saturday Night Live is famous for its political satire, especially since the 2016 presidential campaign that catapulted then-candidate Donald Trump into political relevance.
During that campaign, Trump appeared on the show as a guest host, continuing the show's longstanding tradition of featuring the very politicians it satirizes.
One of the few moments in the episode that called out Trump's well-established pattern of racist dog whistles and calls to violence featured Bobby Moynihan as his Drunk Uncle character on a "Weekend Update" segment. The racist, alcoholic character boasted his support for Trump's campaign.
The character, through slurs, said of Trump:
"Finally, Colin, someone is saying the things that I have been thinking as well as saying. It's like I'm running for President, y'know? We have like a million things in common. We both love white Russians! That's one. His dad gave him a million dollar loan, I told my dad I love him, he told me to leave him alone. That's two. His wife's name is Melania, and my doctor said that's what this mole is."
During the sketch, Drunk Uncle goes on to make transphobic jokes, to confuse host Michael Che with the late Republican Ben Carson, and to generally beclown himself—the joke being that one would have to be this ignorant to support Trump.
In a recent interview for The Daily Beast's Last Laugh podcast Moynihan reflected on the segment, revealing that the joke was lost on its target, Donald Trump, who mistook it for praise.
Moynihan said of the "dumb idiot" Trump's reaction:
"I remember thinking, this is one of the only things in the show that's actually really bad-mouthing him and pointing out how racist and terrible he is. And he walked up to me afterwards and I'm like, oh no. And he shook my hand. And he was like, 'Thank you so much. That was so nice to hear such nice things being said.' And I was like, you moron."
People weren't shocked to hear that Trump was unaware Drunk Uncle wasn't intended to be a protagonist.
@HuffPost @gtconway3d Well... it is a pretty classic Trump story, that's for sure.— Wink_NudgeNudge (@Wink_NudgeNudge) 1612936979.0
@HuffPost Because OF COURSE Trump loved that!! Duh!— EP (@EP) 1612913970.0
@HuffPost loollll are we surprised— John C P (@John C P) 1612920840.0
@HuffPost @gtconway3d As long as he gets attention!— sighsqueen (@sighsqueen) 1612914353.0
@HuffPost That’s how narcissists are.— No January Exception (@No January Exception) 1612914194.0
With a presidency partly defined by erratic ramblings and delusional conspiracy theories, Trump's most prominent supporters have often been compared to one's drunk uncle—most recently, the inept defense team representing Trump in his ongoing impeachment trial.
trump's defense team sound like my drunk uncle.— SnarkyLiberal (@SnarkyLiberal) 1612903435.0
Did Trump hire the "Drunk Uncle" character from SNL to be his lawyer for the impeachment trial? wtf is happening wi… https://t.co/RAlywBtbg5— B.Seebeck (@B.Seebeck) 1612901761.0
Trump's prosecutors "Here is what he said" Trump's Defense "Well....this is what he meant by that" It's like watc… https://t.co/hN8Zt5tt7e— Not Grefg =( 🍥 (@Not Grefg =( 🍥) 1612902640.0
Trump’s defense attorney reminds me of your least favorite drunk uncle who spends 20 minutes trying to make a point… https://t.co/FLwWUZOCq2— 𝙲𝚊𝚜𝚎𝚢 ツ (@𝙲𝚊𝚜𝚎𝚢 ツ) 1612901607.0
@BeschlossDC @LA_Karma1 This is the best Trump could come up with? He sounds like the drunk uncle at Thanksgiving.— Victor B Johnson (@Victor B Johnson) 1612901787.0
This isn't the first time Trump has failed to realize he's the butt of a joke.
In the HBO show Curb Your Enthusiasm, curmudgeonly protagonist Larry David began wearing one of Trump's famous "Make America Great Again" caps, not because he supported Trump, but because he realized the cap made people hesitant to associate with him.
Trump later proudly retweeted a clip of that scene from episode.