By hosting the show, Trump revealed just how unscripted he has been on the campaign trail. As he ran through lines that had been rehearsed over and over again this week, Trump lacked the charm, humor, edge and unpredictability that he usually oozes during political rallies, speeches and debates. There was no rambling, no jumping from one thought to the next, no unexpected breaking news. He even enunciated. And finished sentences.
"A lot of people are saying: 'Donald, you're the most amazing guy. You're brilliant. You're handsome. You're rich. You have everything going. The world is waiting for you to be president. So why are you hosting 'Saturday Night Live'? Why?'" Trump said, as he opened the show. "And the answer is: I have really nothing better to do."
Trump continued: "Part of the reason I am here is that I know how to take a joke."
Two actors who play Trump on the show then joined the presidential candidate on stage and began reciting his campaign lines — often more convincingly than he did himself that night. Suddenly, someone shouted: "You're a racist!"
Trump's appearance on "SNL" was not without controversy, as pro-immigration activists petitioned the show to disinvite the Republican front-runner, protested his appearance and offered a $5,000 reward to anyone who would call Trump a "racist" during the show.
Trump responded to this heckler much more quickly than he has ever responded to them on the campaign trail.
"Who the hell is...?" Trump said. "Aye, I knew this was going to happen. Who is that?"
Turns out it was Larry David, who played Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders during an earlier skit.
"Trump's a racist!" David said, to applause.
"It's Larry David," Trump said. "What are you doing, Larry?"
"I heard if I yelled that they'd give me five thousand dollars," David said.
"As a businessman, I can fully respect that — that's okay," Trump said. And then he launched into the next line, without seeming to even take a breath: "We have got a great show tonight!"