Trump to Host 'Saturday Night Live' in Return to NBC Network

Previously Anchored 'SNL' in 2004

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Donald Trump in his appearance as host of 'SNL' in 2004.
Donald Trump in his appearance as host of 'SNL' in 2004. Credit: NBC Universal

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump will host NBC's "Saturday Night Live" on Nov. 7, five months after the network dropped the billionaire businessman for remarks he made about Mexican immigrants.

It's the second time he's hosted the late-night comedy sketch program, the network said Tuesday in a statement. He previously anchored "SNL" on April 3, 2004.

Mr. Trump's insurgent campaign makes him a draw for TV networks, even Comcast's NBC Universal, which ended their joint ownership of the annual Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants in June. He also cut his ties to "Celebrity Apprentice." More than a year before the presidential election, Mr. Trump's blunt talk and personality have contributed to record ratings for debates on Fox News and CNN.

The Aug. 6 Republican debate on Fox News attracted 24 million viewers, the biggest U.S. audience for a cable telecast other than a sporting event. Last month's Republican face-off on CNN was the most-watched ever for that network.

Since June, the 69-year-old New Yorker has also appeared as a guest on NBC's "Today" show, "Meet the Press," and "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon."

"Saturday Night Live" has a long history of having politicians as hosts, according to a fan website. They've included Vice President Al Gore, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, New York Mayor Ed Koch and U.S. Senator John McCain.

Mr. Trumps leads Republican candidates in national polls. The website RealClearPolitics, which compiles an average of polls, says he's the preference of 23.7% of those surveyed nationally.

He continues to sling one-liners worthy of the sketch comedy show's famous spoof of the old "60 Minutes" debate segment "Point Counterpoint."

"At the request of many, and even though I expect it to be a very boring two hours, I will be covering the Democrat Debate live on twitter!," he said in a Twitter message Tuesday.

-Bloomberg News

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