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Alec Baldwin’s SNL Salary for Playing Trump is Anything But Yuge

SNL Trump Alec Baldwin Salary
NBC

Once upon a time, Alec Baldwin thought he might get to retire his SNL rendition of Donald Trump, as the world moved on with a Clinton presidency. Now, over a month past the election and three appearances since, Baldwin reveals not only a surprisingly small takehome for the role, but also the likelihood of a regular presence going forward.

A “sad!” profile with the “failing” New York Times went behind the scenes with Baldwin ahead of Casey Affleck’s 2016 closer, which saw Baldwin’s Trump cozying up to Vladimir Putin (Beck Bennett) and new Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (John Goodman). Baldwin admits taking home only $1400 for each appearance, while two upcoming film commitments “would mean his performances would be intermittent” going forward.

As to how Baldwin manages to capture Trump’s unique cadence in a manner that Darrell Hammond and Taran Killam had been responsible for in prior seasons:

The key to a convincing Mr. Trump, the actor said, are “puffs” — his word for the pregnant pauses in the president-elect’s speech. “I see a guy who seems to pause and dig for the more precise and better language he wants to use, and never finds it,” Mr. Baldwin said in an interview on Saturday in his dressing room at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in Manhattan, six hours before show time, his eyebrows already peaked. “It’s the same dish — it’s a grilled-cheese sandwich rhetorically over and over again.”

For his part, Trump hasn’t tweeted his displeasure with SNL or Baldwin’s impersonation since December 4; odd, given this past weekend took its arguably most pointed shots at him for Russian influence in the election. The previous week also managed to take aim without Baldwin’s caricature, using a short film with John Cena to portray life “Through Donald’s Eyes.”

We’ll see if Baldwin manages to squeeze in any more appearances before the inauguration (currently, only Rogue One star Felicity Jones is scheduled for January), but how might SNL portray the President over the next four years, if not with Baldwin in its stable?

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