Alec Baldwin's Donald Trump impression has been shelved — possibly for good — as the actor will not reprise the role on Saturday Night Live this week, days after the real estate mogul was elected president.
Appearing this week on WNYC's The Brian Lehrer Show, Baldwin said: “I’m trying to shed the Donald Trump cloak.”
He added: “I’m not an impressionist, per se, but if you do any kind of comedy and they ask you to do that, most of the time, there’s some degree of appreciation, I think, involving somebody you like. Trump is somebody who, I don’t hate Trump, but he’s not somebody I admire, so it was more difficult.”
NBC has not commented on the matter.
Saturday Night Live will return this weekend after a weeklong hiatus. Comedian Dave Chappelle will host the show for the first time, with musical guest A Tribe Called Quest. A replacement for Baldwin has not been announced.
Earlier in the week, Baldwin had former R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe on his radio show Here’s The Thing. The “It’s the End of the World” singer blasted the 30 Rock actor for his portrayal of Trump.
“What does it feel like from inside? What does it feel like playing that character?,” Stipe asked the host. “It’s satire, it’s brilliantly done, but it’s still adding to the push of... Warhol said, I think, there’s no such thing as bad publicity. How have we created this monster?”
Baldwin then responded saying that at first, he wasn’t sure he could play Trump.
“When I was approached by Lorne [Michaels], who is a friend of mine, to do it, my first impulse was 'no.' Because in order to do that effectively, you need to have at least some appreciation of the person ... for which Trump I have none,” he said.
He added: “I have had a wave of people... it’s kind of unsettling to me actually how many people come up to me all day long and they thank me because they needed something to laugh about. They needed a release."
Stipe, an outspoken supporter of Bernie Sanders, also said: “It is so sad that we have allowed ourselves to sink to this level of really entertainment, that's what it is. I blame media completely for it, including Saturday Night Live."