In the history of Saturday Night Live, it’s been said, over and again, that some actors were born to play certain characters. Nobody could do James Brown quite like Eddie Murphy. Darrell Hammond made his career mimicking Bill Clinton. Ditto Will Ferrell with George W. Bush. But it’s not often that a massively popular A-list actor can reinvent his career by coming back to SNL to offer his or her take on a current political foil.
Sure, Tina Fey played Sarah Palin well after her star had risen above and beyond SNL, but it was partly that role that catapulted Fey into contention for America’s Sweetheart.
But Alec Baldwin is breaking the mold. The megastar has now made multiple appearances on SNL to portray candidate Donald Trump, a spoof The Donald hates, but pretty much everyone else says is absolutely spot on. So spot on, in fact, that some openly wondered if maybe it was Baldwin on stage at the last presidential debate, rather than Donald.
While Trump came out absolutely on fire at the third debate, the consensus is he got off course at some point and fizzled, allowing Clinton to goad him into getting off message. Jimmy Kimmel Live host Jimmy Kimmel joked that Trump looked like he was doing an impression of Alec Baldwin mimicking Trump.
Liberal pundits Bill Maher and Kamau Bell jumped right on that bandwagon, making both general and specific comments about Trump’s delivery and commentary that reminded them, they said, more of Baldwin than of Trump.
Reporters in the hall at the debate tweeted messages saying they heard people in the audience asking: “is that Alec Baldwin up there?”
So, is playing Trump a Renaissance for Alec Baldwin? Too soon to tell yet, but he could very well cement his legacy as one of the most versatile actors in Hollywood. Baldwin is already revered by the internet, of course, for his course, crude and cut to the chase motivational speech in Glengarry Glen Ross. Now he has another gif-worthy weapon in his social media arsenal: Trump Face.
Not that everyone is happy about Alec’s star turn as Trump. Conservative commentator and Baldwin Brother, Stephen, says his big bro’s portrayal “isn’t funny” … well, while humor is certainly subjective, Steve and Donald may be the only people who think so.
Elie Hirschfeld is NY real estate developer.