“Good evening America. I am going to be so good tonight, I am going to be so calm, and so presidential that all of you watching are going to cream your jeans,” Alec Baldwin said, making his debut as Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live.
SNL’s moderator Lester Holt, aka Michael Che, introduced the GOP candidate as “the man to blame for the bottom half of all his kids’ faces,” after instructing the Hofstra University audience, “No cheering, no clapping and, to the Trump supporters: no shirt, no shoes, no service.”
Baldwin’s unveiling as Trump was much anticipated, as political reporters and TV-industry navel lint gazers wondered whether the actor, and the NBC late-night show, would be able to out-comedy Trump’s jaw-dropping performance at Monday’s debate, watched by 84 million viewers. SNL had put off its season debut so as to follow the first debate between Trump and Dem candidate Hillary Clinton.
The show rose to the occasion, though it was a challenge.
In SNL’s version, after Clinton, aka Kate McKinnon, explained her opponent’s Trumped Up Trickle Down economics, Baldwin’s Trump got to respond:
“Hey Jazz Man,” Trump began, addressing Che/Holt. “I’ve got a very presidential answer for this: Our jobs are fleeing this country. They’re going to Mexico. They’re going to Jina. I will stop that. If Hillary knew how, she would have done it already. Period. End of story. I won the debate. Stayed calm, just like I promised, and it is over. Good night, Hofstra.”
Informed, to his surprise, that there remained 88 minutes to debate, Baldwin/Trump was momentarily speechless, then announced:
“My microphone is broken. She broke it, with Obama. She and Obama stole my microphone, took it to Kenya…and now it’s broken… Testing, Jina, Jina, Yuuuuge, Jina.”
Holt asked Clinton what she thinks of what Trump just said.
“I think I’m going to be president. I mean this man is clearly unfit to be commander in chief.”
“Wrong,” Trump muttered.
“He’s a bully,” she added.
“He started the birther movement.”
“He says climate change is a hoax invented by China.”
“It’s pronounced ‘Jina’.”
As had Actual Trump at the debate days earlier, Baldwin/Trump announced somewhat crazily during the debate that Clinton has a temperament problem and his is the better temperament of the two candidates. Driving home the joke, Baldwin added, “She’s always screaming, constantly lying. Her hair is crazy, her face is orange except around the eyes where it’s white. And when she stops talking her mouth looks like a tiny little butthole.”
Asked if she cared to respond, Clinton happily declined and gave her two minutes to Trump, who said, “The thing about the blacks is that they’re killing each other,” as Holt shook his head and Clinton’s jaw dropped.
“All the blacks live on one street in Chicago. It’s called Hell Street. And they’re all killing each other, just like I am killing this debate,” Baldwin’s Trump boasted.
McKinnon mimed reeling in a big fish, then asked Che: “Can America vote right now?” Which is exactly what Clinton supporters wondered the night of the Actual Debate – just one of several thought-bubble moments in the SNL cold open.
Baldwin’s best Trump moment came when SNL’s Clinton brought up the former Miss Universe winner (as had Actual Clinton toward the end of the debate) calling her “a strong beautiful political prop” who Trump had called Miss Piggy when she put on weight. Baldwin complained, “Why are we talking about this woman? We should be talking about the important issues, like Rosie O’Donnell, and how she’s a fat loser and everyone agrees with me. And I just wanted to bring that up in a presidential debate, right at the end, by my own own volition, good idea. I did it!”
Che wondered why McKinnon’s Clinton was crying.
“I’m sorry. This is going so well,” she wept. “It’s going exactly how I’d always dreamed.”
McKinnon’s best moment came during Clinton’s closing statement:
“Listen America, I get it. You hate me. You hate my voice and you hate my face. Here’s a tip: if you never want to see my face again, elect me president and I will lock myself in the Oval Office and not come out for four years. But if you don’t elect me I will continue to run until the day I die.”
But Baldwin got the last laugh, Trump-icizing: “I was going to say something extremely rough to Hillary but said to myself, ‘I just can’t do it.’ But, if I had said it, it would have been a nuclear bomb.” He then revealed he has hired investigators to look into who was the “very heavy” Monica with whom Clinton’s husband, former POTUS Bill Clinton had an affair in the 90’s.
“I don’t have her last name yet but, when I get it, I’m going to set my alarm for 3:20 AM and go sit on my golden toilet bowl and tweet about it until completion.”
Credit Tina Fey with the idea of casting Baldwin, her former 30 Rock star, and frequent SNL host, in the role.
Baldwin is a former NBC primetime star, as well as a former MSNBC how host. Trump is a former NBC primetime star and regular fixture on Fox News Channel. Baldwin currently is a reality-TV star, as host of ABC’s Match Game reboot; Trump formerly starred on NBC’s The Apprentice/Celebrity Apprentice. Baldwin has, in the past, expressed interest in a political career and several years ago announced he had decided not to run for NYC mayor so as to continue starring in NBC’s 30 Rock. Trump stole the show at NBC’s upfront presentation in May of 2011 when he announced he had decided not to run for POTUS so as to continue starring on Celebrity Apprentice.
Baldwin took Trump duty from Darrell Hammond, a onetime SNL cast member who returned to the show in ’14 as its announcer and last season played The Donald.