NBC and Lorne Michaels took no small amount of heat when then-candidate Donald Trump hosted Saturday Night Live in 2015. Now a former longtime SNL regular is speaking out about that night and how he continues to feel about it.
Taran Killam, who often played Trump on SNL pre-Alec Baldwin, had some choice comments when asked in a radio interview about the future POTUS taking the Studio 8H stage as protesters made big noise outside 30 Rock. “It was rough,” Killam told NPR. “It was not enjoyable at the time and something that only grows more embarrassing and shameful as time goes on.”
But does he think that episode, which drew the late-night staple’s best ratings in years, helped get the once-corporate-sib Apprentice alum elected? “I don’t necessarily put so much weight into [the idea of] Trump hosting SNL helping him become president, but there’s definitely something where it normalizes him and it makes it OK for him to be part of the conversation,” Killam said. “And I don’t think the intention of having him on was ever politically based. I sincerely believe that. But I don’t think it was considered — the implications that it had then and could have moving forward. And I think looking back … there’s nothing good I can take from that week. ”
The radio pubcaster also asked about the personal side of Trump. “He’s not an enjoyable person to be around — he’s from a different class; he’s from a different way of life,” Killam said. “There was never any common ground.”
The actor also noted the “hypocrisy” of the rejuvenated SNL becoming a mouthpiece of opposition to Trump’s presidency. “It certainly feels like there’s some hypocrisy there. I guess you could say, ‘Oh, they’re righting wrongs.’ And I don’t even think it’s righting wrongs. I think the show tries to — and in particular, Lorne’s outlook is — play to both sides. Play to the masses, play to whatever the popular opinion is. But, boy, they could definitely mine some comedy out of owning up to it, huh?”