Long before he was elected the next President of the United States, billionaire businessman Donald Trump was known for not reacting very well to criticism or ridicule from entertainment outlets or news operations. That personality hasn’t changed much within the previous two weeks since the election, given his criticism of the latest satire from NBC’s long-running Saturday Night Live (SNL).
On November 19, the show opened with actor Alec Baldwin dressed up as Trump and taking under consideration potential members of his Cabinet. The portrayal of Trump was one that made a point to emphasize how little awareness he’s perceived to have when it comes to a number of important facets of the job as Commander in Chief.
Baldwin’s Trump meets with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who expresses his excitement in Trump’s secret plan to defeat the terrorist group ISIS. As it turns out, this version of Trump has no such plan and uses an available laptop to find out about the organization.
When the faux Trump realizes that 59 million links come up for ISIS, he gives up and speaks into his phone to ask the Apple computer program Siri a question. At that point, he realizes that he was using a Blackberry messaging device.
SNL also portrayed more prominent individuals during the sketch, including his campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, who was portrayed by one of the show’s other performers, Kate McKinnon. However, this Conway was repeatedly shown to be nauseated by the prospect of Trump entering the White House.
Former SNL cast member Jason Sudeikis reprised his portrayal of 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney, who actually met with Trump on Saturday. The SNL version of that showed them simply shaking hands until coming to the realization that they would never be able to work together.
One other portrayal was that of Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who ran down a list of proposals that the real Trump had offered during the campaign. Baldwin’s version of Trump went on to reject most of them, then hinted that Pence would be doing most of the work as President.
The sketch caused the real Trump to use his favorite form of social media, Twitter, to criticize the show as biased and unfunny. The comments mirrored remarks in the same forum that he had made in October, when he described his portrayal by Baldwin as the equivalent to character assassination. In addition, he specifically dismissed Baldwin’s effort.
Unlike the previous criticism, Baldwin actually responded through Twitter to lecture Trump about the need to be more presidential in his responses. The actor also wrote that Trump should be focused on improving foreign relations and helping people gain freedom.
The ironic part of Trump’s criticism of the show is that he’s twice hosted it, most recently last November. At the time, Trump was actually leading the race for the Republican nomination, with his appearance drawing criticism from both politicians and the media.
Baldwin is actually not a cast member, but was brought in to appear as Trump for the start of this season’s episodes. At the time, the belief was that because Trump wasn’t expected to win the election, Baldwin’s presence wouldn’t be required after that point. That’s obviously changed, though he’s given no indication whether or not he’ll continue to appear on the show.
Since the show began in 1975, SNL has satirized each of the eight Presidents that will have preceded Trump when he takes the Oath of Office on January 20.