To portray Trump in sketches – sketches which Trump finds unflattering enough to bait him into reacting. On 3 December, he tweeted: “Just tried watching Saturday Night Live – unwatchable! Totally biased, not funny and the Baldwin impersonation just can’t get any worse. Sad.” When Aziz Ansari gave his opening monologue while hosting the show the day following Trump’s inauguration, he commented: “It’s pretty cool to know that he’s at home right now watching a brown guy making fun of him.”
There is some evidence to suggest that Baldwin’s impersonation isn’t just recurring because of the fan’s reaction – it may actually be completely accurate. In Jacksonville, Tennessee, a local news station’s report on Trump’s latest reference to his infamous wall featured an image of Baldwin in his Trump costume, which they had mistaken for @realDonaldTrump. Perhaps his Twitter handle was prophetic, sensing a dopplegänger interloper coming to make him look silly(er).
As university students, emotional dependency on TV isn’t anything new, but many expected or hoped that his professionalism would increase once Trump assumed the oval office and control of the POTUS Twitter account. However, his media consumption and search for positive media coverage has continued without halt.
Some of us are lucky enough to live in the UK, where, unlike the US, a massive amount of archived SNL sketches are available to watch for free on YouTube. Fuel SNL’s resistance with the perfect, study-break-length clips on Saturday Night Live’s YouTube channel. You can watch old clips of favourites such as Tina Fey and Amy Poehler or you can watch the latest antics of Baldwin-as-Trump or Kate McKinnon’s hilarious depiction of Kellyanne Conway’s quotidian quest to save face while working for the new president.
If you are an experienced binge-watcher and run out quickly, do not fear. Alec Baldwin will host an entire episode of SNL on February 11, ensuring us a steady stream of improved versions of Trump’s press conferences and painstaking tweets. I think you’ll find the impression so good that we don’t need the real thing.
Image: Vivan Uhlir