Donald Trump pulled a major upset with his stunning victory in the presidential elections last night. His win will have major implications for the deeply divided nation and its policies. While nowhere near as fateful for the country, a Trump presidency also is creating intrigue at Saturday Night Live, which will have to come up with a long-term plan for President-elect Trump’s portrayal for the next four years.
Maybe heeding polls predicting a Hillary Clinton victory, SNL recruited Alec Baldwin to play Trump this fall, through the election. It was designed to be a temporary gig, and Baldwin had said publicly he is looking forward to spending weekends with his kids after November 8. Additionally, he has a busy career, so securing him on a regular basis is virtually impossible.
Taran Killam, the SNL cast member picked to portray Trump in fall 2015, was let go this past summer, a year before the end of his contract. He is starring in a pilot for Showtime, and coming back to SNL on a temporary basis is believed to be a long shot.
Then there is SNL veteran Darrell Hammond, who has played Trump for many years on the show. Because his signature impersonation has been Bill Clinton, he may have been tipped to play the former president as the First Husband many had projected. But in light of the surprising result last night, Hammond would be available to play Trump as he is already working on SNL as the show’s announcer.
SNL already has a new First Lady with Cecily Strong’s popular impersonation of Melania Trump.
SNL honcho Lorne Michaels also might go with a new choice for Trump (for instance, cast member Beck Bennett had been rumored for the part on and off but he impersonates incoming Vice President Mike Pence and Russian President Vladimir Putin). As usual, he is keeping things very close to the vest. The show is not commenting, and a rep for SNL would not even confirm whether Baldwin will return as Trump this Saturday or someone else will take over the role.
Another big question for Saturday: Will newly elected President Trump (and former SNL host) bury the hatchet and come on SNL after eviscerating the show and its portrayal of him on Twitter in the final leg of the presidential campaign?