It is patently obvious to everyone that NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” program takes a rather dim and harsh view of President Donald Trump, perhaps no more so than in actor Alec Baldwin’s impression and portrayal of the president.
But that impression could use some work and may be doing more harm than good to comedy in general, at least in the eyes of SNL veteran alum Rob Schneider, who recently sat down for a lengthy interview with the New York Daily News.
Schneider was a popular cast member of the comedy sketch program in the 1990s and made viewers laugh alongside such other legendary SNL alumni as Dana Carvey, Chris Farley, Al Franken, Phil Hartman, Mike Myers, Kevin Nealon, Chris Rock, Adam Sandler and David Spade, among others.
He noted that politics was always a topic for jokes on the show but feels like the current iteration of the program is “showing their hand” a bit too obviously in regard to their bias against Trump and Republicans — particularly in regard to Baldwin’s portrayal of Trump, as compared to Dana Carvey’s hilarious portrayal of former President George H.W. Bush.
“The fun of ‘Saturday Night Live’ was always you never knew which way they leaned politically,” stated Schneider. “You kind of assumed they would lean more left and liberal, but now the cat’s out of the bag, they are completely against Trump, which I think makes it less interesting because you know the direction the piece is going.”
“Carvey played it respectfully. To me, the genius of Dana Carvey was Dana always had empathy for the people he played, and Alec Baldwin has nothing but a fuming, seething anger toward the person he plays,” he continued.
Schneider said Baldwin as Trump was “hard to watch” because the political bias was so obvious, and added, “Alec Baldwin is a brilliant actor … he’s not a comedian.”
“I don’t find his impression to be comical. Because, like I said, I know the way his politics lean and it spoils any surprise. There’s no possible surprise. He so clearly hates the man he’s playing,” Schneider explained.
As for Schneider’s own politics, he considers himself a former Democrat who is now an independent that enjoys poking fun at the left and the right, though he particularly draws pleasure from humorously pointing out the “hypocrisy” of liberals and ripping into the “PC culture” they promote that has had a detrimental effect on comedy in general.
“Literally if you don’t go the party line — you’re out. There’s a real ugliness to it,” he stated of the liberal political correctness.
Furthermore, while Schneider declined to reveal exactly where he stands on the topic of President Trump, he did state that the constant bashing of Trump was counterproductive and could actually make his job of governing the nation more difficult.
“Nothing good can come from making Trump nervous,” Schneider joked. “It’s like asking Bill Cosby to top off your drink.”
Schneider did reveal that he had met Trump on the set of “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York,” which was filmed in Trump’s Plaza Hotel and Schneider played a bellhop while Trump himself made a cameo appearance. The actor noted that he did the movie while also still doing SNL and “didn’t sleep for two weeks.”
“(Trump) was nice enough to give me a room. He gave me a room for free, so I could sleep between shots,” recalled Schneider. “He was very generous and nice and has been nice every time I saw him. He told me he hated me, but he was kind of joking because I made fun of him.”
Schneider made clear that he doesn’t necessarily agree with President Trump on every issue, but it was obvious from his remarks about Baldwin’s treatment of Trump that he at least has an open mind in regard to the president and could agree with him on some issues while poking fun at others.
It would be nice if Alec Baldwin and other Trump-hating “comedians” would take Schneider’s words to heart, as the mean-spirited attacks passed off as humor aren’t helpful to comedy or society in the least, and could be doing significant damage to the country.
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