Those who enjoyed (or hate-watched) Alec Baldwin’s Trump on “Saturday Night Live” now have another reason to tune in when the late-night sketch comedy returns next week.
Baldwin is set to reprise his role as the resident Trump impersonator in the show’s 44th season, the actor announced in a podcast Friday.
“Trump is insane. I think most people know, the guy — he is insane. We have a man who is president who is insane,” Baldwin told “Origins” podcast host James Andrew Miller.
Baldwin has never been shy about his feelings toward the current administration. Back in March, however, he said the “agony” of playing Trump may keep him away from the sketch show.
“Every time I do it now, it’s like agony. Agony. I can’t,” Baldwin told The Hollywood Reporter.
“SNL” executive producer Lorne Michaels, also a guest on the “Origins” podcast, clarified that there’s just no one else, at this point, who could take over the viral gig.
“(T) he audience connects to him in that role. Sometimes I feel like we are still in campaign mode . . . I think there is probably no other actor who is looking to take that and follow Alec,” he said. “And I think, for a new cast member to come in and try that would be a really tough thing to do.”
According to Michaels, Baldwin’s decision to return seems to have come at the very last minute. He says he got a text from Baldwin’s agent, Matt DelPiano, of Baldwin’s interest after the U.S. Open.
“He was at the U.S. Open last week, and somebody asked him if he was doing Trump. And he said, ‘yeah,’” Michaels said. His agent “texted me and said, ‘I think he’s doing Trump.’ And I went, ‘oh, OK.’ But, he is somebody you know you can always count on.”
Baldwin’s Trump character first debuted back in 2016 and remained popular through the start of Trump’s presidency. The “30 Rock” alum’s ability to mock the president’s mannerisms (his hands, in particular) made him a standout in more than 20 sketches in under two years.
Though not the first to portray the president on “SNL,” several of his Trump sketches — an interview with Lester Holt and a look inside the Oval Office with Trump and Stephen Bannon — are now among the show’s most memorable.
“SNL’s” ratings got a boost in early 2017, back when Baldwin’s Trump and Melissa McCarthy’s Sean Spicer were regulars.
“SNL” returns to NBC on Sept. 29.