The top spot has to go to the rapper’s surprise pro-Trump rant after the show had ended for TV viewers, when he invited the cast and crew to join him onstage without explanation.
“SNL” cast member Kenan Thompson had the good sense to avoid West’s invitation and “watch the circus unfold,” he said, and was able to shed light on how the now-viral moment went down.
“He voiced his opinion, very loudly, for a long time,” Thompson said Monday on “Late Night with Seth Meyers.” “We’re all entitled to our opinion, but you know, I don’t know if that’s the moment, necessarily, to hold people hostage like that — but hey.”
Thompson added that the rapper essentially invited the cast into “the wolves den,” then proceeded to “caca on people.”
“As soon as he said, ‘Hey, join me up on stage everybody,’ I was like, ‘Oh, there goes the little cheese in the mouse trap,’” the comedian said. “It’s going down. I felt so bad for those guys, because it’s hard to stand there and not be able to debate somebody who’s going so far against, you know, your personal opinion and just stand there and take it.”
Cast members, including Colin Jost, Mikey Day and Melissa Villaseñor, as well as host Adam Driver, awkwardly watched the rapper deliver an unwelcome monologue that touched on Trump, racism, liberal bullying and Bill Cosby. The rant drew a smattering of boos and some applause.
A source close to the show told People that West “made it uncomfortable for the cast” by not giving them a heads-up before his speech.
“We’re fair. We’re in the service business. We try to cater to the host, make sure they have a good show and whatnot, and then when musical guests come in and they’re a little bit crazy, maybe they’re a little bit crazy,” Thompson explained. “We let ’em have that. We don’t judge. We’re not there to judge.”
The late-night sketch series gave West full permission to wear a MAGA hat, despite his claims he had been “bullied backstage,” and also allowed him to perform a third song during the show’s final moments.
“It’s so many times that I talk to a white person about this, and they say, ‘How could you support Trump? He’s racist.’ Well if I was concerned about racism, I would have moved out of America a long time ago,” West said on stage as wife Kim Kardashian and their children watched. “We don’t just make our decisions off of racism. I’m a break it down to you right now: If someone inspires me and I connect with them, I don’t have to believe in all they policies.”
“You see they laughing at me. You heard ’em, they scream at me, they bully me,” he continued. “They bullied me backstage. They said, ‘Don’t go out there with that hat on.’ They bullied me backstage. They bullied me. And then they say I’m in a sunken place. You want to see the sunken place? Okay, I’m a listen to y’all now.”
West replaced singer Ariana Grande on the show after she dropped out at the last minute for what was described as “emotional reasons.”
“Crazy Rich Asians” actress Awkwafina will host next week’s episode, with Seth Meyers taking over duties the following week with musical guest Paul Simon.