It was Tina Fey's idea to enlist her 30 Rock co-star Alec Baldwin to play Donald Trump on several episodes of NBC's Saturday Night Live, starting with this weekend's 42nd-season opener (11:30 p.m. ET/PT).
SNL's executive producer Lorne Michaels was talking to Fey (an alum of SNL) over the summer, and "She said, 'You know who would be a great Trump is Alec!' " he recalls. "I talked to Alec, who was finishing a movie, he was getting ready to have a baby — it couldn't have been worse timing. But, slowly, the idea grew on me. People on the show liked it, and I thought he'd be great with Kate" McKinnon, who plays Hillary Clinton.
"And I thought, well, he's Alec," who holds the record as 16-time host of the late-night institution and might offer a fresh take on the Republican presidential candidate and NBC's TheApprentice star, at least until the election.
At first, Michaels says, Baldwin was uncertain: "He said, 'I'm not sure I have a Trump,' and I said, 'Yeah, you do.' "
Darrell Hammond, who begins his third season as the show's announcer, will give up the role, but is expected to continue playing Bill Clinton.