South O’ the Highway

Alec Baldwin Returns as Trump, with Reaper Steve Bannon, on SNL

Amagansett resident Alec Baldwin brought his popular Donald Trump impression back for the cold open sketch on the February 4 episode of Saturday Night Live, hosted by Kristen Stewart, over the weekend.

The sketch, focusing on Trump’s unfriendly phone calls with leaders of key U.S. allies, most notably Australia and Mexico, built on the growing theory that Steve Bannon calls the shots in the Oval Office. Trump’s Chief Strategist and former executive chair of far-right Brietbart News appears as the Grim Reaper in the sketch and goads the President into his ridiculous calls with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, who Baldwin’s Trump tries to fool into paying for his proposed border wall.

As Nieto (played by a cool and slightly smug Alex Moffat) answers the phone, Trump says quickly, “guywhosgonnapayforthewallsayswhat,” but fails to fool the Mexican president. After Nieto reiterates that he has no intention of paying for Trump’s wall, Trump says, “No, you pay, loser. You’re a bad hombre—here come our tanks, prepare to go to war” and then abruptly hangs up the phone.

Alec Baldwin as Trump in Feb. 4 SNL cold open
Alec Baldwin as Trump in Feb. 4 SNL cold open, Photo: Will Heath/NBC

Before the Nieto call, in his conversation with Turnbull, played by Vladimir Putin impressionist Beck Bennett, Trump says everyone loves his Muslim ban and notes that it had to be done because of “that huge massacre at Bowling Green” (a reference to Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway‘s misstatement earlier in the week). Mirroring the actual conversation between the two world leaders, Turnbull thanks Trump for still accepting the Australia’s refugees—to which the president responds, “Homie say what?” The call concludes with Trump hanging up on Turnbull, but not before declaring, “America first, your reef is failing, prepare to go to war.”

Bannon is thrilled with the result of both calls.

Trump then calls German Chancellor Angela Merkel (played by Kate McKinnon), who answers, “Is this my sweet Barack? I miss you.” Trump reveals it is he who is calling and she replies, “Ugh, gross.” They discuss the protests in America, which Trump blames on “how bad The Apprentice has gotten,” and he mentions “up-and-comer” Frederick Douglass, the black Civil War-era abolitionist who—this is true—both Trump and Press Secretary Sean Spicer appeared to believe is still alive earlier in the week.

Speaking of Spicer—SNL guest Melissa McCarthy‘s impression of him during a press conference later in the episode completely stole the show from Baldwin’s usually top-headline-garnering performance. It’s an absolute must-watch skit. See it here.

As Trump and Merkel’s conversation continues, he tells her it’s time to get serious, noting, “last week it was Holocaust Remembrance Day, and as you know, 6 million people were…at my inauguration.” To a stunned Merkel, Trump goes on to say how unfair the media treated this fact, and how he will write a book about it called “My Struggle” (German translation: Mein Kampf – the title of Hitler’s book and manifesto). The call concludes after Merkel corrects Trump’s pronunciation of her name and he angrily hangs up, first saying, “Germany sucks, your wall failed—prepare to go to war.”

As the sketch ends, Bannon tells Trump to give him his desk back and relegates the President to play with a toy at a small, child-size desk next to his in the Oval Office.

The cold open scene may not have been as much of a hit as McCarthy’s hyper-aggressive, gum-swallowing Spicer, but it’s still great stuff. Watch the video below.

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