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“I don’t believe I’ve ever been this overjoyed to lose a job before,” Baldwin wrote after Saturday Night Livethis weekend.
BY CHRISTOPHER ROSENNOVEMBER 9, 2020
For Alec Baldwin, a long personal nightmare may be over. On Saturday, after four years of impersonating President Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live, Baldwin expressed relief at what might have been one of his final appearances as the president on the sketch comedy show.
“I don’t believe I’ve ever been this overjoyed to lose a job before!” Baldwin wrote on Twitter, shortly after Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden was officially projected as the election’s winner. After starring as Trump during Saturday’s episode of SNL, Baldwin tweeted a photo of himself in character holding up a sign that read “You’re welcome.” The actor, who won an Emmy for his portrayal of Trump, shared the same message during the episode’s goodnights.
Baldwin was cast as Trump in the fall of 2016, and his impression frequently got under the now lame duck president’s skin.
“Alec Baldwin, whose dying mediocre career was saved by his terrible impersonation of me on SNL, now says playing me was agony,” Trump wrote on Twitter in 2018, shortly after Baldwin gave an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in which he expressed displeasure with having to play the president. “Alec, it was agony for those who were forced to watch. Bring back Darrell Hammond, funnier and a far greater talent!”
Last year, Trump again broadsided Saturday Night Live, asking how “Networks get away with these total Republican hit jobs without retribution? Likewise for many other shows? Very unfair and should be looked into. This is the real Collusion!” The president did not follow through on his threat to investigate the sketch comedy series.
Tossing out idle threats about Saturday Night Live, however, is something Trump and Baldwin have in common. In June of last year, Baldwin said in multiple interviews that he had stopped enjoying the role.
“I can’t imagine I would do it again. I just can’t,” he told USA Today. “They should find somebody who wants to do it.”
But in an interview published just one day later, Baldwin said despite his misgivings, he would likely return. “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,” he toldTVLine. “But Lorne [Michaels] is my dear friend and [SNL] is like another home to me, so if they want me to do it, I probably will.”
He did, of course. In October of last year, Baldwin told Jimmy Fallon that while he tried to leave the impression behind, Michaels convinced him otherwise. “Lorne starts with one very powerful premise, which is, ‘I hired you, didn’t I? So my judgment is flawless, right? I gave you your biggest job, didn’t I?’ And you’re like, ‘Yeah, you got a point. You hired me, so I really shouldn’t doubt you,’” Baldwin recalled.
If this is the end of Baldwin’s Trump, he went out much in the same way as Kate McKinnon’s Hillary Clinton. After the 2016 election, McKinnon-as-Clinton played a mournful cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” on Saturday Night Live. On Saturday, befitting the president, Baldwin-as-Trump sat in front of a piano and performed a sad cover of The Village People’s “Macho Man.”