Alec Baldwin gets paid $1400 for each of his SNL appearances as Trump


The New York Times did a short profile of Alec Baldwin this week to highlight his ongoing Saturday Night Live portrayal of President Deplorable. While I do think Baldwin and SNL helped to “normalize” Donald Trump ahead of the election, I also believe that they were not trying to do anything except make people laugh. Baldwin’s Trump is a buffoon, a clown and an idiot… which basically shows that Baldwin is really great at impressions. Anyway, this NYT piece is called “A Tangerine Wig and a Tightrope Walk: Alec Baldwin as Donald J. Trump.” Some highlights:

It takes seven minutes for Baldwin to get into the Trump costume: A dusting of Clinique Stay-Matte powder in honey. A hand-stitched wig. Eyebrows glued up into tiny peaks. The rest is left to Alec Baldwin: the puckered lips, a studied lumbering gait and a wariness of humanizing a man he reviles.

Mimicking Trump’s speech patterns: Baldwin relies on “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. It’s the same dish — it’s a grilled-cheese sandwich rhetorically over and over again.”

Baldwin watched hours of Trump’s campaign appearances to get his movements right: “I’m not interested much by what’s inside him,” he said, but in how he moves and takes up space. Mr. Baldwin then amplifies the gestures, and distills them. An emphatic wave becomes a goofy “wax-on, wax-off” movement, he said, the simple hand motion reducing a candidate to an essence: pitchman.

How much Baldwin is paid: He does not write the sketches. He is paid $1,400 for each appearance on the show, he said.

The concern that he’s humanizing Trump: Playing Mr. Trump as a buffoon landing headfirst in his own gaffes has at points rendered him almost sweetly silly on screen. After the election, Mr. Baldwin recalled, he was distressed to receive an email from a friend sardonically thanking him for humanizing Mr. Trump and helping him win. “I do recognize that that is a possibility,” Mr. Baldwin said. “But I think that now that he is the president, we have an obligation — as we would if it was him or her — to dial it up as much as we can.”

He’s going to keep playing Trump when he can: Mr. Baldwin said that he planned to continue playing Mr. Trump on “Saturday Night Live” and perhaps elsewhere, but that his work schedule — he is about to film two movies — would mean his performances would be intermittent. Besides, he said, it might start to get old for audiences.

The comparison of Baldwin & Trump (they’re somewhat similar): “The difference is, with Trump, it’s incontrovertible that he has said the things he’s said. And he ran on them.’’

Getting rid of Trump: “Whoever it is, wouldn’t it be great to be the person who pulls the sword out of the stone? Who gets rid of this guy? Wouldn’t that be thrilling?”

[From The NY Times]

Immediately following the election, Baldwin made some noise about not wanting to do the show anymore, but I think he’s realized the value of being such a pop-culture thorn in Trump’s side. As long as Trump tweets out his irritation with SNL and Baldwin, Baldwin will keep making appearances. As for the rest of it… Baldwin’s obviously not doing it for the money. That’s sort of cool, in my opinion – Baldwin is arguably one of our greatest impressionists, and he has such a long-standing relationship with Lorne Michaels and SNL, so it’s sort of sweet that he just shows up and does his Trump impression for so little money (and in actor-world, that’s probably the least amount of money they can give a SAG union member).

Here’s SNL’s last Trump skit of 2016:


Photos courtesy of WENN.

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82 Responses to “Alec Baldwin gets paid $1400 for each of his SNL appearances as Trump”

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  1. Shambles says:

    Good. I’ll send him money too. He’s doing the more service for the public
    than the actual Donald Trump.

    • EM says:

      “Baldwin watched hours of Trump’s campaign appearances …” Good Lord that alone merits hazard pay in addition to his appearance fee. Frankly if I were required to watch anything beyond the 15 seconds it takes me to change the channel when he comes on I would be banging my head against a wall or drinking or binge eating.

  2. Lingling says:

    Oddly, I feel like SNL made Trump look harmless, and that directly affected him getting elected. Some things aren’t a joke. We just have to deal with it now, but they can stop at any moment. Im ready to stop hearing about him in frivolous capacities.

    • Rachel says:

      It reminds me of the 30 Rock episode where Liz Lemon instructs all the writers to make fun of a woefully incompetent, offensive politician but ends up boosting his approval ratings as everyone loves his buffoon antics on the show.

    • Tiffany says:

      I don’t think they made him look harmless, they made him look like an extraordinary idiot who didn’t know what he was talking about. The debate sketches especially were not flattering at all.

    • Otaku Fairy says:

      I always thought they were just emphasizing what an unqualified idiot he is.

    • LoveIsBlynd says:

      I don’t agree. because during the elections, it was a relief to see the same moron in the same way “with his tiny butt hole mouth”. To me Baldwin’s character wasn’t “harmless” but implausible. I never saw him as a viable presidential candidate-ever- and that’s how he was portrayed. Maybe that’s the danger? We never saw him as electable and didn’t see that he could win in the xenophobic sympathizer states? I am a late bloomer to life. I just bought a house and understand all things roof and heating. I now live in a country with a fascist for a president and understand all things american politics. When things are broken and my safety is in danger- well, trial by fire.

    • lucy2 says:

      I get what you’re saying, but I feel like anyone who voted for him didn’t care how SNL portrayed him.
      Or what he said. Or what he promised to do. Or that he seems legit bonkers and woefully unqualified.

  3. Kitten says:

    Only $1400? Wow that’s far less that I would have imagined.

    I too was worried about Baldwin humanizing Trump or making him into the lovable buffoon, but after seeing all the skits, I think he does a really great caricature of him.
    Sure, they could have shown Trump as the truly malevolent monster that he is, but it’s more comical to play up his arrogance, selfishness, and sheer idiocy. I think it’s easier to show the “funny” in the fact that he is a hugely unqualified president who is clearly uninterested in the job. Less funny would be showing the reality of the terrifying cabinet he’s selected as well as the very real damage this man will do to our country.

    Now they need to work on KellyAnne Conway because they are giving her a HUGE pass in their portrayal of her.

    I’ve had my issues with Baldwin in the past but I sure love this man’s politics.

    • Lingling says:

      I just find it less funny when it’s not satire and basically a play by play of real events.

      • Kitten says:

        Oh come’s satire. Yes it is satire that comes scarily close to reality but it’s still satire.
        Pretty sure that Trump didn’t actually mistake a plate of mashed potatoes for a photo of himself….

    • Emily says:

      I think SNL realizes what a mistake they made having the real Trump on as a host during the election. They thought the rest of the country was in on the “joke” and Trump would NEVER be president. Turns out it was the exact opposite! I think now they have an important job to do. If they keep pushing the narrative that Trump is Putin’s puppet…people will believe it. Even people who don’t regularly read newspapers or follow the news. That’s how they made Sarah Palin look like such an idiot – have someone talented play her and play up the dumber things she said.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        If anything is questionable, IMO it is letting him host, not the Baldwin sketches.

        The Baldwin impersonation has baited Trump into some of his most unpresidential behavior. It amplified the idea that he can be baited into Twitter fits by taunting him.

      • Melly says:

        The Palin point is important. They portrayed Palin as a lovable baboon and Tina Fey made her kind of endearing. SNL also didn’t portal Palin as dangerous, which she would have been if she were elected as VP. SNL assumed that McCain/Palin would lose, and thankfully they were right.

    • NastyWoman` says:

      I don’t want them to stop – especially since we know the Orange Puppet watches, which means his Deplorables watch, too.

    • jwoolman says:

      Yes, the $1400 shows it’s a labor of love. Or his patriotic duty.

    • EM says:

      Agreed. Last week’s skit was brilliant and obviously they tied down the real DT since he did not comment on the episode.

      • Christin says:

        I also found it interesting that he didn’t comment. They got too close to the truth? Oh yeah, that’s the topic(s) he doesn’t want to shine a light on.

      • Melly says:

        Now Trump wants to start a nuclear arms race with Russia. Things are great here.

  4. minx says:

    Love AB.

  5. kcat says:

    Are we to forget the disgusting way Baldwin speaks to his daughter or his rage issues because he is impersonating someone we don’t like?

    • Kitten says:

      I’m sorry but that affects his impersonation of Trump…how exactly?

      Who better to impersonate a man who allegedly slapped his son in the face knocking him to the floor, a man who consistently refers to women as “pigs” than the guy with “rage issues”?

      Seems like a decent match if you ask me….

      • kcat says:

        It in no way impacts the impersonation. They seem spot on for each other, and I don’t see anyone referring to Trump in fond ways.

      • Kitten says:

        But I think it’s ok to use critical thinking to compare the two.

        One has been accused of raping a 13-year-old, paid $25M for defrauding innocents, has been accused of sexual assault by 12 women, raped his own wife, referred to his daughter as a piece of ass, hired several neo Nazis to serve in his cabinet, bragged about sexual assault, cheated on his wife, and is a generally awful human being who is entirely bereft of a moral compass.

        The other one has been caught having angry outbursts including a homophobic rant and referring to his daughter as a “pig”.

        I think it’s ok to say that while neither is a great person, the former is far FAR worse. Additionally, I feel obligated to point out that the former is our incoming PRESIDENT. The latter is an actor who has little-to-no effect on our lives.

        I tend to hold the POTUS to a higher standard than an actor, you know?


      • Nancy says:

        You said it all Kitten. A pro trumper said to me, really he raped a 13 year old 1994 and it’s just now being talked about. I just get the sads. He was at the party of a known pedophile, that alone speaks of his lack of character. No woman would stand a chance against a billionaire. Ever since I read the post about that girl on this site actually, I’ve been researching it. Nothing will ever come of it. Words can’t describe my disdain for him.

      • Kitten says:

        I’m with you Nancy. I abhor him so much. His supporters are delusional and entirely irrational. They respond to every valid criticism of their idol with “But Hillary..”, “You lost. Get over it.” or my personal favorite “I love it!” (a response to the alarming climate change denials in Trump’s cabinet).
        As I’ve said many times, it’s like trying to reason with cult members. They are so devoted to the point that they are brainwashed. Scary shit.

      • Rico Shew says:

        ” It’s like trying to reason with cult members. They are so devoted to the point that they are brainwashed. Scary shit.”

        I feel like that about the rusted on supporters of both the major parties.

    • Radley says:

      Let’s throw the baby out with the bath water because he’s not the epitome of human perfection. Sounds like a plan.

      As far as I can tell, he still has a good relationship with his daughter. Everyone f*cks up. Literally everyone. Some f*ck ups are worse than others and that’s when good ol’ human judgment and the ability to weigh those f*uck ups proportionately is supposed to kick in.

      • Kitten says:

        “Some f*ck ups are worse than others and that’s when good ol’ human judgment and the ability to weigh those f*uck ups proportionately is supposed to kick in.”

        This times a million though.

      • lightpurple says:

        I remember being screamed at on a fairly regular basis by my mom when I was a teenager. Although far less than some of my siblings. One of my aunts did nothing but scream the entire time her kids were teens. And she had seven of them. But none of us were every hit. None of us were ever abused. None of us were thrown out Family members push buttons, scream and call names. And then all apologize and go on.

    • Nancy says:

      Alec paid the price for those comments for years. Kim Basinger did everything in her power to keep him away from Ireland. She taped and leaked the phone call. She had instructed Ireland never to take his calls. He was at the end of his rope and went crazy on the call and was berated everywhere for it. He was taking out his frustration for his ex on his daughter and lived to regret it. He apologized personally and publically and was forgiven, given the stress of the divorce that went on for years. He can’t take it back, but if his daughter has forgiven him, so should those who don’t even know the situation.

    • NastyWoman` says:

      I think every parent has in the course of their kids’ lives said something to them they regret. The difference is that Alec’s was memorialized on tape and leaked to the press by a vindictive ex. Is what he said excusable, no. But he has apologized and even his daughter said that it was an anomaly in their relationship and she’s forgiven him.

    • Snowflake says:

      Alec Baldwin might have rage issues, but he is not running our country. Trump is. Everyone says stuff when they are angry that they don’t mean and regret later. Would you prefer a perfect human to portray Trump? I will look for one. You are just trying to deflect from the awfulness of Trump. I am more worried about our president than I am about who portrays him.

  6. V4Real says:

    For Trump to be this so called intelligent business man his way of talking annoys the hell out of me. I mean how many time’s did he use words like tremendous and amazing over and over during the debates. He”s not a good speaker. If you compare his way of speaking to the finesse of President Obama, Trump sounds like an idiot.

    • Nancy says:

      He is an idiot, that’s how he speaks. There is no normalizing him, it’s impossible because he is not normal. I do check his twitter feed every week just to laugh at him being all pissed off over SNL, presidential skits have been their norm for decades. George W. loved it. That’s the closest statement I’ve ever made to saying something positive about Bush, although compared to trump he is normal, well no, I can’t say that. He was a train wreck as well, but not nearly as frightening as trump.

    • SusanneToo says:

      I imagine other world leaders inwardly grimacing when they have to converse with the language challenged thug. And that horrible voice of his – it churns my stomach.

      • Nancy says:

        The other peace oriented world leaders are probably scratching their heads, wtf. But China, Korea and Russian leaders and all other tyrants are in their glory. They were handed the gift of trump as a way to catch the States off guard. It wasn’t an accident he got where he did, he had help from the bad guys and it’s a bad time to be in America. *forgive my millions of posts, trumpty dumpty brings out the fire in me*

      • V4Real says:

        Post as much as you like. This man makes my skin boils as well. I despise him and what has now become of this country. Trump ass belongs to Putin and he knows it. Sooner or later the truth will reveal itself.

      • lightpurple says:

        He just tweeted that we need to increase our stockpile of nuclear weapons. I suspect other world leaders are a bit frantic at the moment. As am I.

      • Nancy says:

        Thank you V. I do have a tendency to babble on too much and too long on his threads, but appreciate a place to vent with those with similar opinions of that person. You, Snowflake, lightpurple, my Kitten, original Kay and all the lovely “regulars” on this site are like friends that don’t judge. Thank you! Happy Holidays and PEACE ON EARTH.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        For anyone passionately afraid of what Trump has in store, I recommend googling a guide put together by congressional staffers who watched the Tea Party obstruct Obama. Essentially, they learned from that obstruction but have refined it to leave out all of the nastiness. It started as Google doc, but moved to a website on 12/19. I recommend going to the website, because the updates are great.

        It’s called:
        “Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda”.

        It gives pointers on the most effective action to take.

  7. Onerous says:

    I can’t believe he’s working for scale! I kind of love him for that because I know he just really wants to stick it to Trump.

  8. Nancy says:

    A buffoon, a clown and an idiot……he has it down! He will have a nice college fund for his new babies after four years of trumping. He is great at it. I agree with @Kitten up there, they need to work on Kellyanne, the name suits her! This woman makes me squirm, to be such an ignoramus, she’s getting off easy, although the dead hair comment a few weeks ago was funny. They need to play up her undying allegiance to trumpty dumpty. When they had the dude playing Putin say to trump last week, you are my Christmas gift, it was classic!!!!

  9. Radley says:

    I don’t think Alec Baldwin has “normalized” Trump at all. SNL did when they allowed him to host (they effed up bigly on that one). But not Baldwin. He’s straight up lampooning and mocking him. I have no problem with that. Editorial cartoons did the same with Hitler back in the day and rightly so. It highlights the absurdity, which is relevant and important. That does sink into people’s consciousness. Especially now when society is more pop culture influenced than ever. That’s part of the reason we’re stuck with this monster.

  10. Seraphina says:

    Love the Putin imitation. Hilarious. He is very smart. KGB smart. I remember seeing a picture of him shaking hands with George W and his hand was on top. Body language spoke volumes. I hope he doesn’t eat Trump alive.

    • Radley says:

      He will. He’s got ammo, I’m sure. At the very least, he has Republican e-mails he’s chosen not to release into the wild…yet. Trump is out of his league with Putin.

    • Peanutbuttr says:

      Dubya was too crazy even for Putin. Supposedly, Putin really thought Dubya was crazy enough to nuke Russia if he wanted.

    • lightpurple says:

      I remember Putin snubbing W at the Beijing Olympics. It was priceless. Sadly, it was over some very bad acts of Putin.

  11. me says:

    So a jackass is getting paid to play another jackass.

    • Rhiley says:

      Alec Baldwin is a very complicated man. On the one hand, an argument could be made that he abuses women, his ex-wife and oldest daughter being two. On the other, he is a terrific comedic actor, and the roles he chooses really normalize him. Over the coming four years, he may prove to be a very powerful force against trump. Trump is so thinned skinned, and Baldwin is brilliant at showing how truly weak and petty is he. Through satire, we may have the best understanding of how the trump administration operates.

      • Escaped Convent says:

        I agree, Rhiley. Pointing up Trump’s mean-spirited pettiness is a very important job and could be a factor in helping our new Dictator unravel.

      • Indiana Joanna says:

        For all the well written, succinct op ed and other articles criticizing the orange one, I’ve never read anything that fully captures his true horribleness. Alex Baldwin is able to do that. I’m glad Baldwin will continue to appear on SNL.

        Thanks to all you commenters. You give me strength.

  12. SusieM says:

    The problem is, it is impossible to satirize Trump because Trump satirizes himself.

  13. robyn says:

    Wow … I would have expected him to get a lot more money for the gig. He does a fabulous job, although conman p*ssygrabbing Trump is far more dangerous than he seems to be in the skits. I agree it’s a public service. Bare chested Putin is quite authentic too from the little I’ve seen. The only persona I think is unreal is Kellyanne Conway. She’s no victim and SNL shouldn’t portray her as such, although she might as well slip a burka over her head because her support of Trump shows she is willfully blind to her status as a second class citizen in America.

  14. Escaped Convent says:

    Alec Baldwin is doing a much-needed public service. I am all for it, and I think he does a brilliant job. I hope he continues. One thing, though—this might become almost a full-time job, as Trump is going to screw up so much that Baldwin’s presence in sketches will be necessary more than ever. I doubt that he will have time to be alterna-Trump as often as is called for.

    The best thing about this, to me, is that it irritates the hell out of Trump, and because he’s a three-year-old with no self-control, he will fritter/Twitter his life away, tweeting stupid retaliatory insults and his favorite word “Loser.” It will be fun. 😒 I’m waiting for him to announce to the world that the leader of some other country is a loser. He has no respect for anyone so I figure it’s a matter of time. Let’s hope he doesn’t say it to North Korea.

    So keep up the great work, Alec Baldwin. Keep irritating and enraging the Orange Narcissus. Oh, the fun we’ll have.

  15. Eric says:

    I’m extremely pleased with Alec’s portrayal of Ghengis Con. He was a gifted young actor once and his comedic timing of late puts him in the SNL Hall of Fame. SNL and Alec, at whatever cost, need to continue irritating Orange Julius Caesar. It focuses the light on what the real issues are with Il Douche, which are too numerable to list here.

    Can’t wait for an SNL sendup that includes daughter Ivanka the Terrible and sons the Krays and their gross conflicts of interests.

  16. Diane says:

    Worth every penny.

  17. lightpurple says:

    Trump is now tweeting that the US needs to expand nuclear weapons capabilities. Where the hell are his handlers?

    • SusanneToo says:

      Is it too late to impose martial law and void the election?

    • Kitten says:

      All I want for Christmas is a bomb shelter and an arsenal of guns.

      • Nancy says:

        I love you Kitten, you’re my kind of girl! Think I will have my husband build an underground tunnel. You’re invited…..Happy Holidays

    • Rico Shew says:

      There’s definitely something brewing behind the scenes among the ruling class. I think we’re heading for a showdown between the globalists and a coalitition of nationalists. Not sure how it’s going to play out at this stage though. But if Trump and Putin are in the same facation, which they appear to be, then my money would be on them.

  18. SusanneToo says:

    Big applause for Teen Vogue. They’ve been doing some incisive reporting on trump. This is their latest.

  19. SusanneToo says:

    I can’t post it, but check Shaun King’s twitter for a sickening incident that happened in Ft. Worth. I expect more like it in trump’s america.

    • Kitten says:

      Sigh. I’m not shocked because we all know this has been happening to PoC at the hands of cops and will continue to happen until we make a conscientious effort to reform our law enforcement but…

      At the same time, I am just so disgusted and angry. This woman and her children were victimized TWICE–once by the man that assaulted Brea’s son and then later by the very person sworn to protect them. It’s just outrageous and sickening and appalling and unacceptable.

      What a f*cking shit world…smdh…I truly feel for future generations because things will not improve over the next four years.

  20. tw says:

    “No, I’m not a ghost, this is just my face and hair.” hahahahah
    I also loved a few weeks ago when she said, “Yes, dead like my soul and my hair.”

  21. Christin says:

    If nothing else, SNL is hitting on the topics that the orange one wants to distract from (financial, ethics, foreign business ties, etc.). And I will give Alec credit — He has nailed the mannerisms and voice. I forget it’s him playing the orange one.

    The one the writers are consistently normalizing is his blonde accomplice, IMO.

  22. JRenee says:

    Only $1400? Wow