The most recent upside of Saturday Night Live featured another skit of Donald Trump portrayed by Alec Baldwin, but in 2017, SNL doesn’t have a reason to pull any punches when it comes to trolling President-elect Trump. With Trump’s upcoming inauguration, SNL has embraced the knowledge that Trump watches the show and the cast use it as a platform to directly troll the future president of the United States.
Trump has made his opinions about Saturday Night Live well known since the long-running sketch comedy show first started mocking him. In November, he lashed out at SNL and Alec Baldwin, tweeting that the show was “biased” and “not funny at all.” These statements inspired Baldwin to fire back at the president-elect, stating that he should worry more about becoming president and the responsibilities that go along with it.
I would make appointments that encouraged people, not generate fear and doubt.
— ABFoundation (@ABFalecbaldwin) November 20, 2016
These exchanges and the most recent SNL episode set the tone for the future of the sketch comedy show and the media’s relationship with Trump. Trump has turned the presidential paradigm on it’s head, tweeting opinions and espousing political decrees without any knowledge to back up his statements. The country is looking at a president that will fundamentally change the way political news is diffused and interpreted.
Because of Trump’s bombastic style, citizens know more about him than any other president-elect because of his visibility through social media. Trump has frequently retweeted statements from his supporters, including high school students, and has also lashed out and blocked people on Twitter.
SNL now operates with the intimate knowledge that the future president of the United States watches the show and can play to that knowledge accordingly. With the popularity of Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump, the show’s producers are never going to stop doing the sketch, however, now they can take direct digs to goad the soon-to-be president. Whether that’s the intention or not, SNL has placed itself in the entertainment firing line where, in a Trump presidency, no one and nothing is safe.
Because of the social media influence Trump holds, and his disconnection from reality, the president-elect can proclaim anything he wants without proof. According to Politico, Trump called CNN “fake news” and refused to take a question from correspondent Jim Acosta during the president-elect’s first press conference in six months.
Trump bulldozing over CNN and his continued SNL hate shows how much the president-elect pays attention to the media and, more specifically, how he’s being portrayed. With that in mind, SNL‘s most recent episode poked fun at Trump by addressing the disastrous nature of his long-awaited press conference in the show’s cold open.
Baldwin, as Trump, dances around a number of puns and jokes about the unverified accounts that Trump hired Russian prostitutes for a “golden shower” party in a Moscow hotel. Baldwin-as-Trump also joked about how creepy Trump’s sons are calling them, “all-American psychos” and talking about repealing Obamacare without a replacement. SNL‘s Trump trolling really goes deep when Baldwin answers cast member Sasheer Zamata after she says people will die if Obamacare is repealed. “Listen, sweetheart, I’m about to be president, we’re all going to die,” Baldwin as Trump replied.
Felicity Jones, the guest host for the evening, got a chance to deliver more Trump commentary along veteran SNL actress Tina Fey. Fey, channeling the recently-deceased Carrie Fisher in a Star Wars-esque scene to inspire Jones, talks about SNL getting reviewed too much.
— 12 DAYS OF STAR WARS (@12DAYSTARWARS) January 16, 2017
“Also, no matter how it goes, the President of the United States will say that it’s sad and overrated,” Fey said. In response to Jones’ disbelief, Fey continued, “Yeah! The president. It’s fine. No one cares.”
Jones and Fey’s sketch captures how little Trump’s words mean to a portion of the population. At this point, people know that Trump will always spout off without rhyme or reason. The dangerous part comes when he aims his ire at a specific person or country for his followers to circle around. However, SNL appears unafraid of Trump’s anger for the time being and has only gained more recognition for their Trump sketches and political commentary with segments like Fey’s and “Weekend Update.”
Because Trump’s presidency has changed the way many people perceive the authority of the president, SNL trolling Trump is another demonstration of the lack of respect he gains as commander-in-chief. The best part is, SNL is doing what it has always done, lambasting politicians and making jokes about current events. But with Trump, everything is a threat and nothing goes unnoticed.
[Featured Image by Evan Vucci/AP Images]