The latest evidence? Teasers — funny-ish or cringe-inducing, depending on your taste — for Saturday’s appearance shot with members of the show’s cast.
In one spot — since pulled from YouTube by NBC, as Variety reported — Trump took aim at challenger Ben Carson.
“Ben Carson is a complete and total loser!” Trump said. NBC News reported its parent network said the spot was accidentally posted — though, earlier this week, Trump said “nobody would watch” if Carson hosted the show.
Another spot takes aim at Trump’s ego.
Trump: Hi, I’m Donald Trump and I’ll be hosting “Saturday Night Live” this week with musical guest Sia.
Cast member Cecily Strong: And to make things extra fun, Donald has promised that for the whole show he is not going to brag or say he’s the best at anything. Right, Donald?
Trump: That’s right, Cecily. And I’m going to do the best job anyone’s ever done not saying it.
Strong: Well, you just said it.
Trump: What can I say? I’m the absolute best. What can I say?
Another, in which two female cast members sporting Republican red confab about the feeble dating options at “SNL,” showcased Trump’s, ahem, virility.
Strong: I wish there were some real men around here, you know?
Cast member Sasheer Zamata: Oh, you read my mind, girlfriend. I would kill for a real man.
[Cue Trump, who strolls on set sporting shades as a sultry guitar strums in the background.]
Strong (swooning): Oh, hi, Donald Trump.
Zamata (swooning): Nice to meet you.
Another promo made light of FCC regulations — very real, very serious FCC regulations — that may force NBC to offer other candidates “equal time” on the network after Trump’s turn as “SNL” host. The network went so far as to warn its affiliates about the rule ahead of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s appearance in a sketch on the show last month. The same rule prevented some networks from airing repeats of “Law and Order” during politician-turned-actor-turned-politician Fred Thompson’s run for president in 2007.
Earlier this week, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said that even The Donald wasn’t exempt from such regulations.
“Rules are rules,” Wheeler told The Washington Post’s Brian Fung. “I hope that we have developed a reputation as folks who enforce the rules.”
Still, “SNL” jumped in.
Strong: Donald Trump is hosting “Saturday Night Live,” but because of FCC regulations, he can only appear on camera right now for four seconds. Mr. Trump is there anything you want to say?
[An offscreen hand, at stage right, gives Strong the thumbs-down.]
Strong: Oh, come on, Mr. Trump, don’t be shy. Come on, people really want to know what you think about hosting.
[Trump emerges from stage left — revealing that the hand is not his.]
Trump: It’s going to be huuuuuuuuge!
There was also a promo in which cast members vied to be selected as Trump’s running mate — only to find he had promised the vice-presidential spot to two of them.
“I’m just shopping around,” Trump said.