Taran Killam Claims Lorne Michaels Told Cast To Make Trump ‘Likable’
In the modern day simulation, Alec Baldwin impersonations are part of Saturday Night Live’s everyday ammunition against the reign of y’alls lil president Donald Trump. But before he was elected, and before Baldwin took on the character in 2016, the show’s creator, Lorne Michaels, reportedly insisted on only throwing soft jabs at the candidate–this is all according to an interview with former SNL cast member Taran Killam.
In an interview with Matt Gourley on his podcast I Was There Too, the former Trump impressionist opened up about his decision to leave Saturday Night Live in 2016, along with the controversial hosting of Donald Trump in 2015. As Vulture pointed out, the Night School actor says Michaels pressured the cast and writers to go easy on Donald Trump in all of their skits, later surprising them with the candidate’s invitation to host.
“Lorne was being so specific about what we could and couldn’t say about him, and he was dictating a lot of the settings,” Killam said during the podcast. “At that point—the first CNN interview [Trump] was doing—and that was sort of looking like what we thought we were going to do, and Lorne’s like, ‘It’ll be too old news by then, and you know, you don’t want to vilify him. You know, he’s like any New York taxi driver. I know him, I’ve seen him around at parties for years and years, and he just says whatever it is he’s thinking, and that’s his thing. But you know, you have to find a way in that makes him likable.’”
Aside from just some questionable political choices, Killam also says SNL went downhill after Seth Meyers’ departure in 2014. “When Seth Meyers left the show, the dynamic changed quite a bit,” he continued, saying that an increase in pre-taped sketches and Seth’s absence made the show feel like “less of a happy place to be.”
Check out Taran Killam’s entire here.
Are y’all surprised to hear that SNL cast members were encouraged to go easy on Trump?!