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Nick Kroll and John Mulaney Tackle Donald Trump, Mel Gibson and ‘Moonlight’ With Independent Spirit Awards Monologue

The hosts of the 2017 Independent Spirit Awards repeatedly criticized Donald Trump while praising the indie films that feature "all of the saddest topics and the happy actors who performed them."

John Mulaney and Nick Kroll

John Mulaney and Nick Kroll


The 32nd Independent Spirit Awards kicked off Saturday with a hilarious monologue from hosts Nick Kroll and John Mulaney that took on President Donald Trump, Mel Gibson and Barry Jenkins’ “Moonlight,” among other movies and public figures.

READ MORE: 2017 Independent Spirit Awards: Full Winners List — Updating Live

The introduction to the monologue noted that the awards ceremony features “all of the saddest topics and the happy actors who performed them.” Mulaney referred to “Moonlight” as “sad and beautiful,” but also turned the film into a punchline. “Basically the Spirit Awards are a secret handjob on the beach, but enough about ‘Moonlight,'” he said.

Kroll immediately skewered Gibson by saying,  “We like to think of these awards as the ones without Mel Gibson. People wondered, how long would it take Hollywood to forgive someone for anti-semitic, racist hate speech. The answer? Eight years.”

Mulaney followed up the joke by saying the 2024 Oscars would see the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award going to White House chief strategist Steve Bannon. “Steve Bannon is so hot,” Kroll said. “He looks like if Nick Offerman drowned.”

While the hosts also invited winners to make political speeches, they noted that the awards show was being broadcast on IFC.  “In terms of impact, you could give your speech right to camera, or you could whisper it to yourself in the bathroom,” Mulaney said.

Kroll then got political himself, however, by mentioning that Trump rescinded rights for transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice. “Because transgender children in public schools have had it too good for too long,” he said.

Mulaney then added that Trump and Robert Durst are both rich sociopaths from New York real estate empires “yet somehow Robert Durst is more likable.”

READ MORE: 2017 Independent Spirit Awards: Who Will Win and Who Should Win — Critics Survey

While Hollywood celebrities have been accused of living in a political bubble, Kroll shot back at that claim. “We’re not in a bubble. We are in a tent filled with fringe artists on a California beach. If this room leaned any further to the left, we would literally topple into the Pacific Ocean.

Watch the entire hilarious monologue below:

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