Donald Trump and 'Alex' Baldwin Trade Jabs on Twitter After Actor Says Playing President Is 'Agony'
Donald Trump has never been a fan of Alec Baldwin’s acclaimed impersonation of him on Saturday Night Live. And on Friday, he doubled-down on his criticism of Baldwin — in an initial tweet riddled with typos — recommending the hit NBC show replace him.
The president and former Celebrity Apprentice host’s latest rant was inspired by a recent interview Baldwin did with The Hollywood Reporter, where he admitted playing Trump was grueling.
“Every time I do it now, it’s like agony. Agony. I can’t,” Baldwin, 59, said in the piece, which was published Thursday. “I could go out on the street, stand on any corner and tap 10 people on the shoulder. And all 10 of them, in all likelihood, would be more qualified — ethically, morally, intellectually and spiritually — than Trump.”
It didn’t take long for his comments to make their way back to Trump.
“Alec Baldwin, whose dying mediocre career was saved by his terrible impersonation of me on SNL, now says playing me was agony. Alec, it was agony for those who were forced to watch,” Trump, 71, tweeted Friday morning, later referencing SNL’s previous Trump impersonator — longtime former cast member Darrell Hammond, who now serves as the iconic show’s announcer.
“Bring back Darrell Hammond,” he wrote. “Funnier and a far greater talent.”
Trump had previously sent a similar version of the tweet out earlier, but deleted it after misspelling Baldwin’s first name as “Alex” twice and misspelling the word “dying” and “dieing” — errors that quickly caught the attention of social media users.
Baldwin quickly responded to the president’s jab on Twitter.
“Agony though it may be, I’d like to hang in there for the impeachment hearings, the resignation speech, the farewell helicopter ride to Mara-A-Lago,” he wrote. “You know. The Good Stuff. That we’ve all been waiting for.”
The actor then joked about the things that would wind up in the Trump Presidential Library (“A putting green, recipes for chocolate cake, a live Twitter feed for visitors to post on”) before suggesting that First Lady Melania Trump — who, reportedly, is a fan of Baldwin’s impression — has asked Baldwin for tickets.
“Signing off for now. On my way to shoot Motherless Brooklyn and grateful to be working with Edward Norton, Cherry Jones, Willem Dafoe, Bruce Willis, Bobby Canavale, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael K Williams,” Baldwin wrote. “If this is mediocrity, give me more.”
It was a gig, he said, that almost didn’t happen at all.
“When Lorne called me and asked, ‘Do you want to do this?,’ I said, ‘No, I don’t want to be Trump on TV!’ Because anytime you do any kind of mimicry, it’s of somebody that you appreciate,” Baldwin, who’s hosted the variety program a record 17 times throughout his career, wrote in Vanity Fair‘s April issue. “I didn’t hate Trump. I just didn’t want to play him. But Tina [Fey] and Lorne [Michaels] pushed me, so I finally said yes.”
In a video interview with the publication, during which he called Trump “the head writer of [SNL], unintentionally,” Baldwin further explained: “I was supposed to do a film. And the people who were doing the film were supposed to escrow money to guarantee that I would get paid. And they didn’t put the money in escrow. And that’s when I hung up and said I’m not going to go do the movie and I’m going to go do the thing with Lorne. And I think to myself, ‘What if I hadn’t done that?’ … It’s turned out to be this incredible opportunity.”