Alec Baldwin has issued so many different statements on his future of playing Donald Trump that it’s starting to feel like a will-they-or-won’t-they romance on a scripted television show. Yet, in this case, he’s really the only person involved.
Just last week, the Emmy-winner and prolific Saturday Night Live host seemed to be over the idea of continuing to play the President, noting that he had more projects in the works and with a young family, it was tough to envision that role being in the cards. We also kind of get it, given the diminishing returns that have come from Baldwin’s Trump over time. The character is funny, but there’s no real creative steam that comes from plopping him in the Oval Office and regurgitating news items in a way that is expected. It’s up to the writers to find new angles and, through the second half of this past season, they bungled some of their opportunities.
Now, the inevitable turnabout on some of those comments. Speaking to TVLine, Baldwin cited his close relationship with SNL executive producer Lorne Michaels as why he would likely continue to do the gig — if asked to do so, of course:
“I get sick of [appearing as Trump] and I’ve whined about it regularly, because in the zeitgeist I’m a pretty political person and where I would normally put that energy is in voter registration, to work with MoveOn.org, to get involved in an actual candidacy and get more into that … But Lorne is my dear friend and [SNL] is like another home to me, so if they want me to do it, I probably will.”
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Here’s our prediction
Baldwin will stick around through the fall of 2020, given that he’s so well-known for Trump now and the producers will just come up with ways to use him sparingly so it generates better laughs and doesn’t dilute the comedy. Throughout most of next season, they have a whole wave of other candidates to spoof — they already have people to play many of them! Think Kate McKinnon as Elizabeth Warren, Jason Sudeikis as Joe Biden, Larry David as Bernie Sanders, and apparently now, Paul Rudd as Pete Buttigieg. They basically have Maya Rudolph in their alumni roster who’d be a perfect Kamala Harris if the situation calls for it. We feel like there will be a lot more to work with here and a lot less of Trump.
If Trump does win 2020, maybe SNL swaps out Baldwin after the fact. If he loses, the character likely takes a bow and we never see him again — unless, of course, Trump continues to make headlines. Okay, who are we kidding? He’ll continue to make headlines and we’ll probably see him again here and there … it’ll just be a far less regular gig and one that may appeal still to Alec.
The new season of SNL premieres this fall, so we’ll get the verdict on Alec’s future then. Given that it’s Saturday Night LIVE, you’re not getting an answer in advance.
Do you think that there is ANY value left in Baldwin’s take on Trump? Share in the comments. (Photo: NBC.)