During Donald Trump's opening "Saturday Night Live" monologue, he was heckled by someone offstage calling him a racist.

But it was comedian Larry David, who moments earlier had performed his own impersonation of Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders.

"Larry, what are you doing?" Trump asked.

"I heard if I did that I would get $5,000," said David with a shrug, echoing an offer reportedly made by pro-Hispanic groups protesting Trump's appearance.

"As a businessman, I can fully respect that," Trump said.

Amid high anticipation, sharp criticism and calls for Trump to be dumped, the Republican presidential candidate hosted Saturday's "SNL" as scheduled.

Despite a 40-year history of lampooning politicians while inviting some to mock themselves as on-air guests, booking a presidential candidate to host the NBC sketch-comedy show was almost unprecedented.

Previously, only eight politicians had served as guest hosts.

NBC faced mounting pressure from a coalition of advocacy groups calling for Trump to be dropped from "SNL" for what one spokesman termed his "racist demagoguery."

Hours before the show aired, dozens of protesters marched from Trump Tower to NBC's studio in Rockefeller Plaza, chanting in both English and Spanish and carrying signs. In Spanish, they chanted: "The people united shall never be defeated" and signs declared SNL racist.

Associated Press