Donald Trump, Long Before He Was President, Would Only Do 'Complimentary' Sketches on SNL, Jon Rudnitsky Says
Nowadays, the only Donald Trump that matters on Saturday Night Live is Alec Baldwin. But before he was elected, Trump hosted the NBC sketch comedy show twice: once in 2004, and once in November 2015 as a presidential candidate.
“He had trouble with the sketches, and if a sketch wasn’t complimentary about him — mainly physically — he wasn’t into it,” said Rudnitsky, 27. “He’d go, ‘It’s cute, but no — next.’ ”
“He was just onto the next if it wasn’t about how great he was,” he continued. “I’m totally serious. I mean, there were some really funny sketches that he just didn’t get. His sense of humor is definitely skewed.”
Rudnitsky also revealed that Trump tried to improvise during the episode — a big no-no during the live show.
“On set, he would be like, ‘I’m going to riff — I’m just going to riff here,’ ” Rudnitsky said. “By the way, nobody riffs on SNL. Not Will Ferrell, not anybody in the history of SNL has ever riffed. There are cue cards there for a reason, it’s live. And he went off on the show, and you can kind of tell when he’s trying to do a thing. You’re like, ‘Eh, you’re not a comedian.’ ”
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For his 2015 monologue, Trump hit the 30 Rock stage alongside two well-coiffed doppelgängers, Taram Killam and Darrell Hammond, who helped make a Trump trifecta. He touched on his feud with Rosie O’Donnell and was loudly heckled by Larry David, who repeatedly called him a “racist” from off stage. (The show took place amid protests from Latino activists who had demanded that the network bar him from the show because of his controversial remarks about Mexican immigrants and his stated position that he would deport millions of undocumented residents.)
“People think I’m controversial, but the truth is, I’m a nice guy,” Trump said. “I don’t hold grudges against anybody. Like Rosie O’Donnell. She said some things about me that were hurtful and untrue. I said some things about her that were mean, but completely accurate.”
Saturday Night Live season 43 premieres Sept. 30 on NBC.