EXCLUSIVE: And the most coveted assignment on Saturday Night Live goes to — Taran Killam. I have learned that the SNL standout has landed the part of reality star-turned Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who is expected to be a fixture on the NBC late-night sketch comedy in the upcoming 41st season, starting with the Oct. 3 premiere.
I hear several current cast members auditioned for the role, which went to Killam. Trump had memorably been played on SNL by former long-time cast member Darrell Hammond, who is now the show’s announcer. I hear he was not in consideration for reprising his Trump impersonation and was not among those who auditioned. He will instead bring back his signature SNL character, Bill Clinton. Hammond has done cameos as Clinton following his departure from the show as a cast member in 2009, recently appearing alongside Kate McKinnon’s Hillary Clinton in a skit about Hillary’s presidential bid announcement last season. With Hillary running, Hammond’s Bill is expected to be featured prominently on the show next season.
With Donald Trump emerging as the undisputed star of the early presidential campaign, dominating media coverage with his brash behavior and controversial comments and drawing huge TV ratings for his appearances, he has become a favorite target for late-night shows. On NBC, Trump was recently portrayed by SNL alum Jimmy Fallon in a Tonight Show skit alongside the real Trump.
Killam, who has been on SNL since 201o, has a number of impersonations in his repertoire, most notably Brad Pitt, Piers Morgan, Matthew McConaughey, Christoph Waltz, Andy Cohen, Michael Cera and Eminem. He is repped by UTA, Principato-Young and Ziffren Brittenham.