Alec Baldwin on How Lorne Michaels Convinced Him to Return as SNL’s Trump

Marlow Stern

With John Oliver taking a one-week sabbatical from Last Week Tonight and Saturday Night Live off as well, Jimmy Fallon took it upon himself to fill the void, airing a special Sunday night edition of The Tonight Show featuring longtime pal—and frequent SNL host/performer—Alec Baldwin.

Fallon, who’s still in ratings-recovery mode following his infamous hair-tousling interview with then-presidential candidate Donald Trump, began—after Baldwin decided to drop trou to show off how much weight he’s lost, strangely enough—by asking his guest about portraying the president during the first few episodes SNL’s 45th season. Baldwin has confessed in the past that he “hates” playing Trump on the sketch-comedy show and that he’d regularly sit in his dressing room and think, “I hope a meteor hits this building and kills me because I don’t want to do this ever again.”

SNL Season 45 Premiere: Trump Freaks Out at Rudy Giuliani Over Impeachment

SNL’s Hypocrisy Knows No Bounds

Well, SNL honcho Lorne Michaels managed to convince him to don the orange makeup and ridiculous hairpiece again, and here’s how.

“I said to them, and it was not with any malice or any lack of affection for them, I said, ‘Oh, I don’t want to do that anymore, I don’t want to do the Trump thing again. I’m going to stop.’ And I don’t need to tell you about the Lorne Michaels’ Jedi Mind Trick thing,” said Baldwin.

“[Lorne] gets me on the phone the Friday before the show—the day before the show—and he’s like, ‘I don’t think you understand,’ and I go, ‘What don’t I understand? I’ve been thinking about it all summer. Every day I’ve been thinking about it.’ And he said, ‘I don’t think you understand how important this is,’” recalled Baldwin.

He still wasn’t convinced. “So [Lorne] said to me, ‘You should come and do it—your audience demands it’—or something like that… So I came, and I did it. And I’m going to do it a few times.”

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