Two years into Donald Trump’s presidency, the business of “playing president” is getting old for both the man himself and the famous actor who has to dress up each week and pretend to be him — at least according to the Saturday Night Live opener this week that took aim at the president’s latest antics about his beloved border wall.
The cold open kicked off a fine — if forgettable — collection of sketches, hosted this week by Don Cheadle. In between laughs, the award-winning actor snuck in a few political statements through his sartorial choices. While introducing the musical guest Gary Clark Jr., Cheadle donned a T-shirt that said, “Protect Trans Kids.” And while the credits were rolling at the end of the show, Cheadle wore a Soviet Union hockey jersey with the name “Trump” and number 45 on the back.
There was plenty more shade thrown at the president Saturday night, capitalizing on Trump’s decision this week to declare a national emergency to justify funding his border wall. Congress ultimately refused to give in to his demands for more than $5 billion to finance his wall, making his defiant stance through the 35-day government shutdown — the longest in US history — all for nothing.
“Wall works, wall makes safe. You don’t have to be smart to understand that; in fact, it’s even easier to understand if you’re not that smart,” actor Alec Baldwin says in his reoccurring bit as Trump.
In the segment, Baldwin plays Trump as a president with no filter, but not in the way we’re used to seeing. Instead, he acts as if Trump’s true self is bubbling to the surface after realizing years later that he never actually wanted to be president. Mimicking the same bizarre, sing-song voice that Trump used in his actual press conference this week outlining the legal battle over the national emergency that’s sure to follow (and was in fact already in the works Friday afternoon), Baldwin goes into a downward spiral in describing an undignified end to the Trump presidency.
“I will immediately be sued. And the ruling will not go in my favor.
And then it’ll end up in the Supreme Court.
And then I’ll call my buddy Kavanaugh. And I’ll say, ‘It’s time to repay the Donny.’
And he’ll say, ‘New phone, who ‘dis?’
And then the Mueller report will be released. Crumbling my house of cards.
And I can just plead insanity.
And my personal hell of playing president will finally be over.”
What’s unclear is whether that final line of living in his own “personal hell” was really meant for Trump, or whether Baldwin — who once described playing the bit as “agony” — was speaking for himself.
Nothing funny about tired Saturday Night Live on Fake News NBC! Question is, how do the Networks get away with these total Republican hit jobs without retribution? Likewise for many other shows? Very unfair and should be looked into. This is the real Collusion!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2019