Donald Trump has repeatedly called out Saturday Night Live and Alec Baldwin’s Emmy-winning impression of him since the election. It’s never been a secret that the 70-year-old president is taking none too kindly to the show’s popular representation of him.
Regardless of Baldwin’s politics, it would only be natural for a direct reference from the Commander in Chief to give him the jitters. But instead, Baldwin’s only real concern with the role is that he’s making Trump too appealing to the American public. Speaking on the Here’s the Thing podcast at WNYC with Bernie Sanders, Baldwin admitted that he feared he was making Trump “too cuddly” and questioned if “the mockery” of Trump is “not helping.”
“In terms of Trump, do you think we’re making him kind of too cuddly and too funny and we’re taking people’s mind off something really more serious?” the actor asks. Sanders responds by saying he thinks “what we have to focus on [with] Trump, is what he is doing” rather than the “absurd” things he says.
Sanders is no stranger to celebrity impersonations as Larry David’s take on the Democratic presidential candidate on SNL scored big laughs with audiences, viewers and the man himself. “He did it better than me,” Sanders joked.
Last month, Baldwin won the Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series thanks to his Trump impression. SNL‘s election focus and his impression are largely credited with pushing the show to its best ratings in more than 20 years. On Sunday night, Baldwin returned for the season 43 premiere in the cold open.