The week after Kanye West’s unaired pro-Trump ramblings during the season 44 premiere of Saturday Night Live, a few of the show’s cast members have made their feelings regarding the incident clear. Though Leslie Jones had previously expressed hope that the show might steer away from politics, that definitely wasn’t the case with this episode, which began with Matt Damon guest starring as Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearings. And things only got more political from there.
West, who performed as the musical guest for the Adam Driver-hosted episode, donned a “Make America Great Again” hat for his final performance of the night. While performing “Ghost Town” with Kid Cudi and 070 Shake, the rapper invited the SNL members up on stage to close out the night. Though the cameras were off by this point, West apparently took a break from singing to launch into an aimless rant that touched on Donald Trump, slavery, and the media that was captured by audience members like Chris Rock. A week later, the Weekly Update team was joined on air by Pete Davidson to discuss what happened.
Davidson began by commenting on West’s mental health and calling West’s speech “one of the worst, most awkward things” he’s ever experienced while working on the show, comparing it to an encounter with Chevy Chase. Davidson refutes West’s claim that he was bullied for wearing the MAGA hat but pointed out that everyone wears “stupid” things, including himself.
Saturday Night Live – SNL
Pete dropped by the Weekend Update desk to talk about last week’s musical guest, Kanye West. #SNL
5:49 AM – Oct 7, 2018
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The comedian continued, addressing West’s belief that slavery isn’t real, and pointing out how wrong that is. He added that West is “a genius, but like, a musical genius,” thus insinuating that he doesn’t want to hear about politics from the rapper. Davidson then addressed the importance of mental health, albeit in joke form. West expressed that the person he is now is “the real” him, because he isn’t taking prescription medications. Davidson, who has been open about his own struggles with bipolar disorder, encouraged West to reconsider getting on medication, mentioning how well it works for him. He sent his point home with a well-received statement: “Being mentally ill is not an excuse to act like a jacka**.”
This is far from the first time that West has pushed the buttons of his peers in the entertainment community: a reference to the sunken place from Get Out sparked a tweet from the film’s writer and director Jordan Peele. He also hilariously sparked comparisons to Avengers: Infinity War big bad Thanos last month. West has been on SNL in the past, and this probably isn’t enough to earn him a ban, but considering his choice to shut down his social media accounts following the incident, he may not be willing to go back in the future.