A Letter to Lorne Michaels

Ali Noorani
2 min readOct 17, 2015


Hey Lorne,

Longtime fan, first time writer.

I know things are tough at SNL. Ratings are down because, well, the show kind of sucks right now. Don’t worry. These things are cyclical. You’ll be back.

But, are you so desperate that you needed to crawl into the gutter of America’s political debate and invite Donald Trump to host SNL?

Look, I love provocative, borderline offensive humor more than anyone. (You should’ve seen the first draft of this letter.) But, for you to provide a national audience to a national buffoon whose entire presidential campaign revolves around fear mongering and racism is beyond the pale.

I figure you justify this based on the fact he is currently the frontrunner for the GOP nomination. True. He is.

But this all leads to a larger question for SNL: Do you aim to shape American culture or to be shaped by it?

When it came to gay rights, you sought to shape American culture.

When it came to women’s rights, you sought to shape American culture.

When it comes to civil rights, you sought to shape American culture.

You even received the Mark Twain Prize at the Kennedy Center for your work. (Then again, the Kennedy Center honors aren’t known for their support of Latino comedians.)

And, now when it comes to immigrant rights — and the respect Latinos deserve as fellow human beings and Americans — you are giving their biggest opponent a mainstream stage. You are not only providing Trump the megaphone he so desires, you are moving America backwards.

Now, of course, you will probably have sketches with Trump poking fun at his statements about Mexicans.

But good luck turning this into a skit, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems. And they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”

Pro-tip: Rape jokes aren’t funny.

I do agree with you that, in general, presidential candidates are funny. They quickly become caricatures of themselves.

But, the caricature of a presidential candidate who calls an entire community “rapists” isn’t funny. He is a threat to the safety of an entire community.

At best, Trump deserves your ruthless ridicule and delirious disdain.

He certainly does not deserve your endorsement.


PS. If you are so inclined, please share and/or send to your friend Lorne! Thank you!

Originally published at ali-noorani.com on October 16, 2015.



Ali Noorani

Author of “Crossing Borders” (April 2022, Rowman & Littlefield), host of the podcast, Only in America.