After taking a week off from playing Donald Trump, Alec Baldwin returned to "Saturday Night Live" this week for his first cold open appearance since the election.
Gone was the self-aggrandizing Trump who spent weeks past verbally assaulting Kate McKinnon’s Hillary Clinton and stubbornly conflating various facts and fictions. That was Baldwin’s presidential candidate Trump. Baldwin’s President-elect Trump’s fear instinct has now kicked in.
As this hapless Trump quickly realized, he’s the boss now. And he also made a series of campaign promises that, he realized, range from possible, to absurd, to terrible. When Trump heard his various proposals repeated back to him, it was like he for the first time understood the meaning of the words he spoke for the past year. And with a little help from Google, Siri and Vice President-elect Mike Pence, he realized that he’s not so sure he was right about everything, after all.
After they briefly addressed this weekend's big story on Pence going to see “Hamilton,” (“I got a free lecture,” Pence told Trump), the two new leaders sifted through some of Trump’s major talking points. Like, getting rid of Obamacare. When Pence told Trump that millions of people actually use it and actually like it, Trump reacted quickly. “Let’s keep it then. Let’s keep it.” When Trump learned it may be difficult to get that special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton, he told Pence to “scrap it.”
“You’re going to do everything, right?” he asked Pence before he left Trump’s office. “Yes,” Pence said, and Trump sighed with relief.
McKinnon did get to play alongside Baldwin’s Trump again, but this time as his advisor Kellyanne Conway. “I wouldn’t be president without you,” he told her. “I think about that every day,” she responded, staring into middle distance.
At about 8:30 a.m. Sunday, the real Donald Trump tweeted his take on the show's portrayal of his pending presidency:
Baldwin responded to the president-elect on Twitter Sunday morning, writing from his foundation's account that "there is no more equal time" now that the election is over, among other digs.
Former cast member Kristen Wiig hosted for her second time. She, along with a few surprise guests, opened the show with a Thanksgiving novelty song. She also brought back some of her former SNL characters for a few sketches.
The "Weekend Update" take on the president-elect was similar to that of the cold open — both regarded Trump as unprepared for the responsibility of the office.
And Anderson Cooper 360’s panel, which included Van Jones (“I’m the good one”) and Wiig as Dana Bash, experienced a technical malfunction a la HBO's "Westworld" when trying to have an evolved discussion about the state of the soon-to-be-Trump-led union.
Musical guests The xx played "On Hold."