Saturday Night Live vet Rob Schneider was part of what is widely considered one of the sketch series' top-tier ensembles, as he took the stage alongside Adam Sandler, Chris Farley, Mike Myers, Phil Hartman, Chris Rock and many more. As such, he can look at the current SNL set-up from a pretty specific viewpoint. Which he has, and he's got some sharp thoughts about where the show has gone, saying it's not as fun as it was, thanks in part to Alec Baldwin. In Schneider's words:
The fun of Saturday Night Live was always you never knew which way they leaned politically. You kind of assumed they would lean more left and liberal, but now the cat's out of the bag they are completely against Trump, which I think makes it less interesting because you know the direction the piece is going. . . . Carvey played it respectfully. To me, the genius of Dana Carvey was Dana always had empathy for the people he played, and Alec Baldwin has nothing but a fuming, seething anger toward the person he plays.
One of the most iconic Saturday Night Live impressions of all time is Dana Carvey's George H.W. Bush, made all the better because he also portrayed billionaire and then-candidate H. Ross Perot. And while those impressions didn't exactly glorify the men being represented, Carvey always aimed for a simpleton approach with Bush, without ever oozing vitriol and insults. That method is apparently the one that Rob Schneider prefers SNL to use when it plays party politics.
For anyone who has kept an eye on Saturday Night Live since Donald Trump's presidential campaign kicked off in 2016, NBC's long-running sketch comedy has obviously been far more subjective than objective when it comes to the current D.C. administration. Darrell Hammond's Trump impersonation was a more buffoonish and stereotypical SNL take, but because Alec Baldwin took over the role as Trump stances on various issues got increasingly more controversial and divisive, his performances started off more scathing and one-sided, which lost any semblance of the fun that Rob Schneider looked for in those kinds of sketches.
Speaking with the New York Daily News, Rob Schneider did say that Saturday Night Live is relatively the same as its former iterations in some ways, but that by "showing their hand" in politically targeting one side over the other, that's where the divide happens. And while he may have opinions on the myriad other political impressions SNL has offered up, such as Melissa McCarthy's Sean Spicer or Kate McKinnon's Kellyanne Conway, Schneider seemingly puts the bulk of the blame on Alec Baldwin-as-Trump's "hard to watch" shoulders.
Alec Baldwin is a brilliant actor... he's not a comedian. I don't find his impression to be comical. Because, like I said, I know the way his politics lean and it spoils any surprise. There's no possible surprise. He so clearly hates the man he's playing.
Rob Schneider, who considers himself an Independent voter now, doesn't comment on candidates he sides with politically, but the comedian definitely has something in common with Donald Trump when it comes to not liking Alec Baldwin on Saturday Night Live. That, on top of both men having credits in the 1992 sequel Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.