Alec Baldwin returns as Donald Trump to declare 'fake' National Emergency
Alec Baldwin returned to Saturday Night Live in a cold open that took on President Trump’s truly batsh*t Friday press conference.
Though Baldwin’s puckered impression of Trump has grown tiresome—for the actor as much as for the audience—this edition felt a bit less rote than some of Baldwin’s other appearances this season. For that, SNL can thank Donald Trump himself. His antics, from a sing-song monologue on the judiciary to an impression of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s accent, pretty much wrote the sketch for them.
Baldwin begins with a reference to Trump’s latest dubious physical—"I’m still standing six-foot-seven, 185-pounds, shredded"—before pivoting to the subject of his wall. "We need wall, because wall works. Wall makes safe," said Baldwin. "And you don’t need to be smart to understand that. In fact it’s even easier to understand if you’re not that smart."
SNL also hit Trump’s real-life talking point of advocating for the death penalty for drug crimes. Baldwin’s Trump takes it a step further. "Imagine if we used the death penalty for non-violent crimes," he said. "You shoplift, bing bing, two in the back of the head. Just something to kick around."
The problem is that there were no great, transformative leaps of writing or performance—Trump said a lot of crazy stuff during a press conference, and then Baldwin did an impression of Trump saying very similar crazy stuff. But despite SNL's fidelity to the source material, the president made it clear Sunday morning that he is not a fan.
SNL returned to the Trump press conference from the Weekend Update desk. "I am so tired of telling Donald Trump jokes," said a weary-looking Michael Che. "I’ve been making fun of this dude and his dumb-ass wall for so long, I’ve got to be honest, now I kind of want to see the wall. I’ve never seen anybody so confident of such a bad idea. It’s almost charming, like when Colin thought he could pull off cornrows."
But amid the rather lackluster political takes the show offered, Che made some thoughtful points. Trump and his supporters blame South Americans for drug sales in the U.S., but seem less inclined to address the sky-high demand for narcotics on our side of the would-be wall.