WATCH: SNL Host References Roman Senators Assassinating Caesar, Adds, ‘Interesting Thing If We Brought That Back Now’
John Mulaney speaks onstage at the #NETFLIXFYSEE Animation Panel Featuring "Big Mouth" and "BoJack Horseman" at Netflix FYSEE at Raleigh Studios on May 21, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images

On Saturday night, Saturday Night Live host John Mulaney noted that  March was the month that Roman leader Julius Caesar was stabbed to death by senators in ancient Rome, then added, “That’d be an interesting thing if we brought that back now.”

Mulaney started his monologue by saying, “It’s a leap year Saturday and I am the first person to ever host Saturday Night Live on a leap year Saturday.  I am also the first host to have done the least in between his second and third times hosting.  I have nothing coming up; I am here to promote the month of March.”

Later in his monologue, he continued, “It is a leap year, as I said.  Leap year began in the year 45 B.C under Julius Caesar.  This is true.  He started the leap year in order to correct the calendar and we still do it until this day.  Another thing that happened under Julius Caesar was he was such a powerful maniac that all the senators grabbed knives and they stabbed him death.  That’d be an interesting thing if we brought that back now.”

He added, “I asked my lawyer if I could make that joke, and he said, ‘Let me call another lawyer,’ and that lawyer said yes.”

The Daily Mail noted some social media users expressed their anger at Mulaney’s suggestion with comments like these: “So apparently it’s funny to joke about assassinating the President of the United States”; “You want to stab Trump? Think you just stabbed your pathetic career. Never heard of you”; “What is wrong with these people like Mulaney? Imagine if that had been said about Obama? These people are full of hate. They hate Americans that voted for Trump,” and “Lost a fan in me with the hateful snowflake bit against our President. Hopefully the Secret Service will try to explain a little better how stupid that is.”

This is not the first time an entertainment entity based in New York has made mention of the stabbing of Julius Caesar with a seeming reference to President Trump; in 2017, the Public Theater in Central Park put on a production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar in which Caesar was portrayed by an actor in a business suit with an American flag pin, a long tie, and reddish-blond hair. Fox News noted, “The fact that this version’s Caesar bears a striking resemblance to President Trump is raising eyebrows.”

After the play elicited criticism, Delta Air Lines and Bank of America yanked their sponsorships of the show. Delta issued a statement: “No matter what your political stance may be, the graphic staging of Julius Caesar at this summer’s Free Shakespeare in the Park does not reflect Delta Air Lines’ values. Their artistic and creative direction crossed the line on the standards of good taste.” Bank of America added, “The Public Theater chose to present Julius Caesar in such a way that was intended to provoke and offend. Had this intention been made known to us, we would have decided not to sponsor it.”

Video of Mulaney below: