If you’ve watched Saturday Night Live recently, you may have noticed a slight uptick in non-host, non-regular cast members playing major roles in the show’s political sketches. Most recently, Melissa McCarthy uncannily portrayed press secretary Sean Spicer, emulating his tongue twisting, flop-sweaty mania to perfection. In fact, the idea of a woman impersonating a man in Donald Trump’s cabinet seemed to bother the president so much that longtime enemy of Trump, Rosie O’Donnell vouched to play right-hand man Steve Bannon in upcoming sketches; that Bannon is currently being portrayed by one of those prop death skeletons you can buy at the CVS around Halloween is both appropriate and flattering when you remember that sickly bloatedness is one of Bannon’s defining physical characteristics.
Then there’s the impersonation that more or less kicked off this trend: Alec Baldwin portraying Trump himself. His portrayal of America’s 45th president continues to rankle Trump’s ego in ways that defy conventional wisdom and common sense. Interestingly enough, John Cena, in one delightfully weird POV sketch depicting the president’s constant state of distraction and self-flattery, also played Trump as he sees himself in the mirror. Baldwin has been playing Trump since before the election, and he still turns up semi-regularly, even though he’s gone on the record to say that playing the president is “not a lot of fun”)
One question, however, looms over Baldwin’s winning impression: Whether or not a star of his caliber would be willing to report for duty at SNL on a regular basis for the remainder of Trump’s presidency. In a recent sketch, posted above, Leslie Jones asks, “Do you really think he’s going to do this the next four years? Doesn’t he have other stuff to do?” And Bobby Moynihan’s reply, wondering who would replace Baldwin, gets Jones thinking: Why not her? After all, if a woman impersonating Spicer is enough to bother the president, one can only imagine he’d be apoplectic watching himself as interpreted by Jones.
In the sketch, Jones says her aims aren’t subversive. She just wants to try out something new. Jones does a pretty great job of getting Trump’s body language and delivery down, too, with well-executed hair and costuming to match. She even takes the impression to showrunner Lorne Michaels’ office, but things seem to turn sour the second Michaels turns down the idea. Without spoiling the sketch too much, it appears that someone else steals Jones’ idea and her role in the process. The sketch takes place in the meta-reality, depicted in a few video shorts so far, where Jones and castmate Kyle Mooney are involved in a heated relationship, so everything you see should be taken with a grain of salt. There’s a happy ending, sort of, though. Watch the clip to see what happens!