Is Alec Baldwin Done Playing Donald Trump? Why He’s Ready to Stop Impersonating the President on TV
Saturday Night Live has been poking fun at Donald Trump for years. Long before he became president, the late-night comedy show had made the real estate mogul the butt of jokes, beginning with a sketch in 1988, which featured Phil Hartman as the future commander-in-chief and Jan Hooks as his then-wife Ivana giving each other gaudy Christmas gifts.
Since then, several other actors have portrayed Trump on the show, including Darrell Hammond, Jason Sudeikis, and Taran Killam. But perhaps the best-known of the Trump impersonators is Alec Baldwin, who took over the job of playing him during the 2016 presidential election campaign. Now, Baldwin says he’s ready to hang up his wig and stop lampooning the president on national TV.
Why Baldwin says it’s time to retire his Trump impression
Baldwin’s Trump impression has been a huge success, even winning him an Emmy in 2018. But he says he thinks it’s time to move on.
“I feel like I’m done with that now. I’m so done with that,” the actor said in a recent interview with USA Today.
Doing Saturday Night Live “just crushes my weekends,” Baldwin went on to say. The 61-year-old has four young kids with his second wife Hilaria, including a son who’s just over a year old. These days, spending time with his family is a bigger priority.
“My wife and I had a son a year ago, and since he was born, I’ve worked minimally because I wanted to be there for my wife and kids,” he explained. “But the party’s over this fall and I’ll be traveling … now weekends are going to become much more precious to me because that’s time with my kids.”
Who he thinks should take over as Trump
Baldwin said he doesn’t “have a lot invested in my Trump impersonation.” His choice for the right actor to replace him would be someone who was enthusiastic about the role.
“They should find somebody who wants to do it,” Baldwin said. He specifically singled out former SNL cast member Hammond.
“Darrell Hammond did it and is a far better impressionist than I’ll ever be,” Baldwin said. He also mentioned Anthony Atamanuik, who plays Trump on The President Show on Comedy Central.
Would Hammond be willing to come back to SNL and revive his version of Trump? It’s hard to say. He’s admitted that he was devastated when Lorne Michaels decided to go with Baldwin’s version of Trump over his take, which he’d spent years perfecting. Hammond had even moved back to New York in 2016, expecting to take on a larger role on the show as election day approached, according to a profile in the Washington Post. He says he was “shocked” when he was fired, and that it took a long time to get over the blow.
Will Baldwin really quit playing Trump?
While Baldwin says he “can’t imagine” playing Trump again, not everyone is convinced he’ll quit SNL. The Washington Post pointed out that this isn’t the first time he’s hinted that he’s ready to move on, only to show up again in Studio 8H. He’s even admitted that his impression is “cartoonish” — a criticism echoed by those who find his take flat and one-note.
Of course, there’s one person who would be thrilled to see Baldwin stop playing the president: Donald Trump himself. He’s made it clear he doesn’t think the actor’s impression of him is very funny. Last year, he put in a vote for Hammond to return, calling him “funnier and a far greater talent.”