Alec Baldwin isn’t a regular cast member of Saturday Night Live, but the 16-time guest host has been on the show virtually every episode since October satirizing President Elect Donald Trump.
In an interview with The New York Times, Baldwin gave a behind-the-scenes glimpse in how he transforms into Trump each Saturday night and touched on the future of the character.
Baldwin doesn’t do much in the role and may not give as much input as he would be if he was a cast member. Pretty much, Baldwin gets to 30 Rock, he takes a few minutes to get the wig and makeup on and the script is already written. I’m sure Baldwin is more involved than that but he trusts the writers to use the material given to them by Trump and his transition team over the past week to write hilarious sketches.
It’s clear that Baldwin is taking the role as a labor of love and an opportunity for the liberal actor to make fun of the conservative businessman. Making only $1,400 per show, Baldwin sure isn’t portraying Trump for the money. And that could cause issues down the road because while Baldwin is able to portray Trump now, there’s no way Baldwin can be available for every episode of SNL for the next four or eight years.
Baldwin has a couple movies to make so SNL’s writers will need to be creative to facilitate Baldwin’s absence. In a way, this could be a blessing in disguise because while Trump gives writers plenty of material every week, Baldwin made a great point that doing something every week “might start to get old for audiences.” Or maybe SNL brings back Darrell Hammond who had previously been doing the impression off and on for the past 15 years.
One person who clearly feels Baldwin’s Trump impression is “old” is Trump himself. Like clockwork, Trump usually tweets something about how Baldwin’s impression is “biased” and part of a liberal media campaign. But not everyone thinks that way. Baldwin said he received an email from a friend of his that sarcastically thanked him for humanizing Trump and helping him get elected as President. Yes, there were hints of sarcasm but that is an interesting and legitimate theory that some could believe had some effect in the election.
Either way, while he may be cutting back, don’t expect Alec Baldwin to be giving up the wig and scowling “sucking on a lemon” face impression of Donald Trump anytime soon.