Despite numerous (and still-to-come) protests, SNL won’t be walking back its controversial decision to elect Donald Trump as its first November host this weekend. That said, it seems the veteran NBC sketch series originally eyed him for a single appearance, before offering him the full November 7 slot.

Speaking with Chris Cuomo on CNN’s New Day, Trump revealed that SNL originally proposed an appearance in one skit (his word, not ours), similar to Democratic rival Hillary Clinton’s lone cameo earlier this season. That said, it was apparently SNL head Lorne Michaels’ idea to up the ante:

It started off as a skit, and I said ‘Alright, I’ll do it’. When they took it up to Lorne Michaels – who’s an amazing guy, he’s run Saturday Night Live brilliantly for many years and hes’ a friend of mine – he said, ‘Well wait a minute, he’ll do the skit. Will he do the whole thing?’” And he called me and said, ‘Will you host Saturday Night Live‘ and I said, ‘It’s an honor.’

To his credit, Trump actually hosted once back in 2004, though the current bid precedes outcry that fellow presidential candidates haven’t garnered the same consideration. Ever one to toot his own (presumably orange, and fake-looking) horn, Trump alluded to NBC’s incentive, despite recent controversy:

You’re never at war when you get great ratings with a network. Nobody gets ratings like me. Do you think you would have had 24 and 25 million people watching CNN and watching Fox? Do you think – if Rubio was there you would have had two people watching.

I did 60 Minutes a few weeks ago where they had Putin with me – great stablemates –  and they got tremendous ratings on that show, among their the highest ratings, they did really well. And then Lorne called and he wanted me to do it. To me, hosting Saturday Night Live, getting 60 Minutes with the really good piece they gave, I think they’re iconic things.

The first promos for Donald Trump’s SNL outing with Sia should arrive later today, but what can we expect from the show itself? Will the writers pull punches, or will protests outshine the hour?

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