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By now Alec Baldwin's Saturday Night Live impression of Donald Trump is almost as well-known as the President himself. An image of Baldwin's Trump was even mistakenly used in place of Donald Trump in a recent publication. Of course, Alec Baldwin didn't know how popular his Donald Trump impression ultimately would become. In fact, he recently revealed on Jimmy Kimmel Live! that he didn't even really know what he was doing with the impression up until the last minute. Here's what he had to say about the first time he debuted his Donald Trump:
The moment the stage manager takes me to my mark for the first dress rehearsal, 8 o'clock, I had no idea what I was gonna do. Literally the moment I walked out there, I said to myself, 'Eyebrow up.' I tried to stick my face out, my mouth out. I was in the makeup room; they were putting my wig on, and it was literally like a scene from a mental hospital. I'm getting the wig on me and I'm sitting there the whole time going, 'China' (in a Trump voice.) Until you don't think about it.
Alec Baldwin spent a lot of time getting to this admission on Jimmy Kimmel Live! He also explained to the late night host that he really didn't want the gig when it was first offered to him by Lorne Michaels, but that he was coerced into it by Michaels and his former 30 Rock co-star Tina Fey. This corroborates earlier reports from Lorne Michaels, who has also explained how the gig came about. Despite this explanation, even Jimmy Kimmel seemed genuinely shocked to hear that Alec Baldwin's impression wasn't a done deal on the day it first aired. That could have literally been a disaster, so I guess we're happy that it all worked out for the actor.
Like all good impressions--although Donald Trump isn't particularly a fan--Alec Baldwin takes a few key Donald Trump components and exaggerates them for full effect. There's the scrunched up face and mouth sticking out component. There's the accent, but probably most importantly, there's the cadence in which Alec Baldwin's Trump speaks. Baldwin also told the late night host that the real trick is just to search for a bigger word in place of terms like "good" and "fantastic" but to never quite find one.
You can kind-of suggest the voice or suggest the way they look, but you have to try and think of who he is. I've said this countless times. To me Trump is someone who is always for a stronger, better word and he never finds it.
So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen, that's how Alec Baldwin got to his version of Donald Trump, which is still popping up on Saturday Night Live on occasion over at NBC. To find out who is scheduled to host next, take a look at our SNL guide, or check out the full Jimmy Kimmel Live! interview.