No comedian ever wants to be stuck explaining their jokes, but Alec Baldwin is doing just that after appearing in a segment of Saturday Night Live that joked about the possibility of President Donald Trump dying.
In response to criticism of the sketch, Baldwin insisted that the show would not have aired it if Trump were “truly, gravely ill,” Fox News reported.
“We wouldn’t even get near that”
The sketch in question appeared one day after news broke that Trump had caught the coronavirus. Saturday Night Live worked some jokes about the president’s illness into a segment mocking last week’s chaotic presidential debate.
At the opening, Baldwin, playing Trump, is asked whether he took a coronavirus test.
“Absolutely, scout’s honor,” said Baldwin’s Trump, as Reuters reported. “The China virus is a hoax — and that will probably come back to haunt me later this week.”
In response to criticism of the episode, Baldwin, an avid Trump hater, insisted that it would not have aired if Trump really were on death’s door. The White House never gave any indication that Trump was “gravely ill,” so the jokes were no big deal, the comedian said.
“If there was ever the suggestion that Trump was truly, gravely ill, and people said, ‘Trump is really in trouble,’ then I would bet you everything I have that we wouldn’t even get near that, in terms of the content of the show,” Baldwin said in an Instagram video, according to Fox. “They would have done something else. I’ve seen that happen before.”
Baldwin also expressed disapproval of people who would wish death on anyone over politics, including Trump, and was skeptical that even Trump’s most passionate haters would cross that line, although many have already, in fact.
“They wouldn’t say, ‘I wish something happened to him,’ or that he died, or whatever,” the comedian said, according to Fox. “And people who do that, that’s not the way it should be.”
Maybe Baldwin is just hoping no one actually watched his show — because SNL did exactly that.
At the end of the segment, Jim Carrey, playing Joe Biden, points directly at Baldwin and starts speculating about Trump’s death with joy. “Now just imagine if science and karma could somehow team up to send us all a message about how dangerous this virus can be,” he says, according to The Hill.
“I’m not saying I want it to happen. But just imagine if it did,” Carrey adds knowingly, to loud applause.