Just to appear on Saturday Night Live is seen as an act of self-deprecation. (“I can take a joke,” Trump said during his monologue.) But Trump should get no credit for being self-effacing. SNL’s impersonation of him, its understanding of him, carries no bite. Yes, he’s a ridiculous personality beloved by drunk uncles everywhere, but Trump knows and loves this about himself. SNL made multiple cracks about Trump’s racism during the episode: Larry David called him racist during the monologue, a sketch about Trump’s tweets ended with a remark about black people, and Weekend Update’s Michael Che skewered the guy “hosting this show” for getting Che’s “negro senses” tingling with the subtitle of his book “Making America Great Again.” But this is perfect for Trump, who gets to affably take his punches for being racist, which only makes his racism appear less virulent, a boon to him and his voters.

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