Alec Baldwin Hosting Saturday Night Live

Saturday Night Live wrapped up its 44th season last month, and before the show returns for the 45th season this fall, they might have to find someone else to play the joke of a president that is Donald Trump.

Alec Baldwin has been playing Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live since October 2016 when the series was parodying the presidential debates. It seems so long ago now. But after nearly three years of playing the president, it sounds like Alec Baldwin is done with the exhausting role, saying in a recent interview, “I’m so done with that.”

USA Today caught up with Alec Baldwin during an interview about the hybrid feature-documentary Framing John DeLorean. In that film, the actor plays the man behind the car that would become one of the most iconic time machines of all-time in Back to the Future. Conversation inevitably turned to his portrayal of Donald Trump, and this is what Baldwin had to say:

“I can’t imagine I would do it again. I just can’t. They should find somebody who wants to do it. They’re all my dear friends and I love going there, but the other thing is that I’m going to go to work this fall in a way I haven’t done in a while. 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. But the party’s over this fall and I’ll be traveling. SNL just crushes my weekends, and now weekends are going to become much more precious to me because that’s time with my kids.

I mean, I had a lot of fun with (the cast), and when Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider wrote [Trump sketches in 2016 and 2017], that was new, it was fresh and the ratings were good. But I feel like I’m done with that now. I’m so done with that.”

Thankfully, Alec Baldwin was playing Donald Trump a little less than the previous two seasons already. Through the 44th season, Baldwin only appeared as Trump seven times out of the 21 episodes from that season. And honestly, even some of those appearances were a little trying. It’s not because Baldwin was terrible as Trump, but simply because the writers could rarely find a good angle to satirize what was already the most ludicrous and stupid presidency this country has ever seen.

Back in the spring of 2017, Baldwin mentioned that he might not play Trump much longer in an interview with Extra. He said:

“His policies aside, which you can hate, I thought he would have just relaxed…There’s a style the president has to have and I think the maliciousness of this White House has people very worried, which is why I might not do it much longer, by the way, that whole impersonation. I don’t know how much more people can take it.”

But he ended up returning in the fall of 2018 for the 44th season and made those intermittent appearances as required. However, this is the first time he’s sounded more firm on the matter. Does he have any idea who should replace him? Baldwin said:

“I don’t know. Darrell Hammond did it and is a far better impressionist than I’ll ever be. When Anthony Atamanuik (started impersonating Trump on Comedy Central’s The President Show), all these people were attacking me, saying, ‘Oh, your impression sucks and you suck. Please go away.’ It also was something I thought to myself: ‘I really don’t have a lot invested in my Trump impersonation, so please find someone and convince Lorne (Michaels) to replace me.’ I’m completely down with that. Winning the Emmy for that show aside, it was not some career goal of mine.”

When Baldwin talked about leaving Donald Trump behind before, we came up with some solutions of our own. For my money, the best idea is just to have a rotating chair of guests play Donald Trump, no matter how good the impression is. Seeing someone do a terrible Donald Trump impersonation would be funnier than most of the sketches trying to mock him these days. But Darrell Hammond is also already at SNL doing the voiceover for the show’s introduction, so having him return as Donald Trump is pretty easy, too. Honestly, we just look forward to the day when we don’t have to think about how to laugh about all this in order to keep from crying when each day brings some kind of fresh hell to our lives.

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