Is this the end of the SNL feud between Alec Baldwin and Donald Trump?
For weeks, watching the interactions between Alec Baldwin and President-elect Donald Trump has been like watching a tennis match. Look left: There’s Baldwin, spackled in orange makeup, mercilessly mocking Trump on “Saturday Night Live.” Look right: There’s Trump, tweeting that the show is unfunny, unwatchable and “just can’t get any worse.” Back to Baldwin, quipping that he’ll stop his impersonation if the president-elect releases his tax returns. Back to Trump, telling the “Today” show how “the skits are terrible.”
SNL’s main event used to be its weekly celebrity hosts; lately, those guests have been a mere sideshow to the Baldwin-Trump battle. This week, Baldwin took another swing.
The show opened with a skit that portrayed Trump as a bumbling idiot who doesn’t realize how Russian President Vladimir Putin is taking advantage of him. Putin appears in Trump’s office through a fireplace, carrying a Santa-like bag with a gift for Trump inside: an “Elf on the Shelf” that has clearly been reconstructed into a surveillance camera. Putin instructs Trump to place it next to his internet router and leave it there all year.
“Vladimir, I’m sorry,” Baldwin-as-Trump tells the shirtless Putin. “But I didn’t know you were coming, so I do not have a gift for you.”
“Please, Mr. Trump,” Putin replies. “You are the gift.”
Even when soon-to-be first lady Melania (played by Cecily Strong) tells Trump she wants Putin to leave, the president-elect is easily swayed to let him stay as soon as Putin calls him “so smart.”
Saturday’s show had the highest metered-market ratings since its…