Saturday Night Live has had a real resurgence in recent seasons, and some of that attention came thanks to Alec Baldwin, who has made quite a few cameo appearances in humorous sketches as candidate-turned-POTUS Donald Trump. But while he might have initially expected the election to go a different way, Baldwin is still portraying now-President Trump on SNL right around two years later, although that could be changing somewhat. Baldwin talked about Trump portrayals in a recent interview, and hinted his appearances won't be as frequent in Season 44.
I have fun being around [the SNL team]. I can't say it's a lot of fun trying to fabricate this kind of Trump that I thought of, but it is fun being around them. They are all old and dear friends of mine, and I love going there. When the show is good, there is nothing like it. But for me, I think I'm going to do some of it, but not a whole lot, not a whole lot.
Alec Baldwin mentioned he has a lot of fun working with the Saturday Night Live cast and crew on the President Trump sketches, but that he won't be donning the Donnie wig as much for the upcoming season. Baldwin, whose statement also served as an official-ish confirmation that he'll be back for Season 44, indicate his cameos number fewer than the sometimes weekly cold opens he's shown up for over the past couple years, although one can't really put a specific number to "not a whole lot." He could be back for only one fewer episode, or he might just pop in for the premiere and finale. Hard to say at this point.
Alec Baldwin didn't go deep into why he'll be cutting back on the Donald Trump portrayals, although the comments that Baldwin made about Trump on the Origins With James Andrew Miller podcast made it clear it wasn't because he's suddenly gained sympathy for the Commander in Chief. It's likely more of an issue of over-saturation, and the fact that the Trump sketches didn't hit quite as hard in Season 43 as they did during the first year.
If Baldwin is the one wishing to back out of his frequent Saturday Night Live appearances, that could be a problem for the show, as Lorne Michaels has admitted filling the spot with another actor at this stage would be a "really tough thing to do." SNL could just do less President Trump sketches, of course, but as Colin Jost recently mentioned, it's not that easy. Jost explained that SNL strives to be reflective of the times, and with the President's headline-making abilities evolving on a week to week basis, there's no set number dictating how much Trump the show could or should cover during Season 44. If Baldwin is unavailable for frequent performances, the show could always call upon former cast member Darrell Hammond to reprise the role, which is a move even the President himself might get behind.
Saturday Night Live kicks off Season 44 on NBC Saturday, September 29 at 11:30 p.m. ET. Keep up with all shows coming to television in the coming weeks with our fall premiere guide.