President Donald Trump “is a moron” who “struggled to read” his lines during rehearsals when he hosted Saturday Night Live back in November of 2015, the outspoken former SNL star Taran Killam said in an interview with Brooklyn magazine’s Evan Romano. Besides struggling to read the scripts, Trump did not understand the jokes and did not seem to understand why he was on the show.
Killam talked about Trump during a discussion of the actor’s current role as King George in Broadway’s Hamilton. He commented on the incident involving Vice President Mike Pence and the Hamilton cast, saying he was impressed by the way the cast handled the incident.
“I’m very impressed by how the cast handled it,” said Killam. “I think what I’ve learned from the cast is that a lot of the negativity was coming from the audience, and I think it was important for the cast that Mike Pence know that they were glad he came, and glad they had that opportunity to perform for him and to communicate with him, and that all are welcome at Hamilton.”
When asked about President Trump’s negative reaction to the cast’s speech to Vice President Pence, Killam said, “Yeah, well, the president is a moron.”
He then went on to talk about Trump’s hosting of the SNL show in November of 2015. He said Trump’s time on SNL was difficult for everyone. The cast and crew were not excited about it.
— Hamilton (@HamiltonMusical) April 4, 2017
“It was not fun, and most of the cast and writers were not excited to have him there,” Killam said. “I didn’t get the feeling that he was excited to be there, and it felt like a move for ratings from both sides.”
“What you see is what you get with [Trump], really,” he said. “I mean, there was no big reveal. He struggled to read at the table read, which did not give many of us great confidence.”
According to Killam, the encounter made him realize that Trump is “just a man powered by bluster.”
“He didn’t get the jokes, really. He’s just a man who seems to be powered by bluster,” he added.
— Zesty TV News (@zesty_tv) April 7, 2017
Trump’s hosting of the show sparked protests and a sharp social media backlash. Killam claimed that Trump was booked to host only to give the show a ratings boost.
In a move that shocked fans, Killam, along with Jay Pharoah and Jon Rudnitsky, were fired from SNL last August after six years as main cast members. Killam had played the role of SNL’s Trump impersonator, while Jay Pharoah played Kanye and Obama.
But SNL creator and producer Lorne Michaels later explained that he fired them because he needed to make changes to the show.
“I think that the lifeblood of the show is change,” he said. “I love Taran, I love Jay, I think they’re both super talented. They’ve both been here six years. And if you don’t keep making changes you don’t change. You know?”
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) April 6, 2017
Killam admitted that working as an SNL main cast member was tough.
“Nothing requires as much of you as SNL. If a person can survive SNL for any number of years, you can basically do anything else, in terms of time requirement,” he told Brooklyn magazine.
This is not the first time that Killam has expressed harsh views about Trump.
Last November, he tweeted “Rural=stupid” in reaction to voting results that showed Clinton would lose to Trump.
— (((Snarf))) (@ugh__sigh) April 7, 2017
He came under fire for the harsh tweet.
“I knew there was a reason you got fired from SNL.”
“Treat hate with hate, that’ll work.”
“This is part of the reason people are voting for Trump.”
But Killam reacted sarcastically to the criticisms on Twitter.
“Sorry, sorry, sorry. Certainly a flippant comment made in jest. Allow me to be sincerely clear. Vote 4 Trump = I think you’re stupid.”
But he later apologized for the tweets.
“In the light of day, I’m embarrassed for making thoughtless and mean statements. I was wrong. I’m sorry.”
Killam also spoke about directing Arnold Schwarzenegger in the film Why We’re Killing Gunther.
[Featured Image by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Image]