Parks and Recreation and Master of None actor Aziz Ansari addressed the inauguration of President Donald Trump and the protests that followed it his opening monologue for this weekend's edition of Saturday Night Live.
"I can't believe this. I am here hosting Saturday Night Live -- the day after Trump's inauguration. Mmmm," the standup comedian began. "Pretty cool to know, though, he's probably at home right now watching a brown guy make fun of him, though, right? Crazy couple of days, man. Yesterday, Trump was inaugurated. Today, an entire gender protested against him. Wow."
He then praised the protesters for the passion of their beliefs, but cautioned against demonizing the 63 million people who voted for Trump.
"I'm sure there are people that had different, political priorities. I'm sure there are some people that voted for him with reservations. I'm sure there is a lot of people that voted for Trump, the same way a lot of people listen to the music of [controversial recording artist] Chris Brown. Where it's like: 'Hey, man, I'm just here for the tunes. I'm just here for the tunes. I don't know about that other stuff. I just like the dancing and the music. I don't condone the extra-curriculars.' If you think about it, Donald Trump is basically the Chris Brown of politics and 'Make America Great Again' is his 'These Hoes Ain't Loyal.'"
He went on to acknowledge the country is divided, but said he is optimistic about its future.
"As long as we treat each other with respect and remember that, ultimately, we are all Americans, we'll be fine," Ansari said. "But the problem is, there is a new group. I'm talking about this tiny slice of people that have gotten way too fired up about the Trump thing for the wrong reasons. I'm talking about these people that as soon a Trump won, they were like: 'We don't have to pretend to not be racist anymore!...' Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! No, no! If you're one of these people, please go back to pretending. You've got to go back to pretending. I am so sorry we never thanked you for your service. We never realized how much effort you were putting into the pretending, but you've got to go back to pretending. I know it's been a rough couple of years -- [President Barack] Obama, Empire, Hamilton. It's just been hit after hit after hit. ... I get it. It's been rough, but you've got to stop."
He concluded his monologue by reassuring audience members that regardless of who they voted for, they will be OK.
"If you look at our country's history, change doesn't come from presidents. Change comes from large groups of angry people and, if Day 1 is any indication, you are part of the largest group of angry people I have ever seen. Good luck to you," he said.