Alec Baldwin, Saturday Night Live’s Trump-in-residence, might be hanging up his wig sometime soon.
The actor, who’s hosted the sketch show a record-breaking 17 times (including once this season), was very much a surprise pick to play, at the time, presidential hopeful Donald Trump last fall. At the height of a ridiculous election season, it was clear Trump would be getting a lot of SNL stage time, so they needed someone solid – and, opting against keeping former cast member / current announcer Darrell Hammond in the role, they roped Baldwin into what everyone assumed would be a short-term situation.
Obviously, that’s not how it worked out. Baldwin’s part-time spot has turned into a weekly obligation, which isn’t exactly what he had in mind. And it seems he’s ready to retire the fake tan, according to Extra.
“The maliciousness of this White House has people worried,” he says, “that’s why I’m not going to do it much longer, the impersonation, I don’t know how much more people can take it.”
Whether or not Baldwin sticks around, unfortunately, Trump’s still going to be in the news, so SNL will have to figure something out. Maybe it’s about time they finally hired Anthony Atamanuik, the longtime Trump impersonator and star of last year’s sold out “Trump vs. Bernie” tour – who, incidentally, Baldwin seems to have some sort of weird beef with.
Atamanuik has auditioned for SNL before; a longtime improviser and instructor at the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York, he’s also one of the theater’s sharpest performers. He’s spent the past year perfecting his already spot-on Trump, and frankly, his version is light years beyond what Baldwin’s been doing – beyond physically embodying Trump’s nervous tics and smug smiles, Atamanuik’s got such a deep understanding of the character that, while campaigning alongside James Adomian’s Bernie Sanders last year, a good number of his joke-y campaign claims ended up becoming official policy.
The Trump vs. Bernie tour may be over, but Atamanuik’s still putting on that wig and getting out there (as recently as last night, in fact).
So… what are you waiting for, SNL? If you want to reach Tony, you can find him on Twitter @tonyatamanuik.