Former Goat Boy habitat Saturday Night Live is gearing up for the kickoff of its 42nd season of comedy, music, and your friends complaining the show was better in (insert whatever year they were 13). Ahead of tomorrow’s premiere with Margot Robbie as host and The Weeknd as the musical guest, SNL emperor Lorne Michaels engaged in a bit of chat with The Hollywood Reporter and he oft-imitated Canuck shared some details about recent developments with the seemingly unkillable series.
If there’s a big promotional hook for the October 1 premiere, it seems to be the prospect of watching Alec Baldwin take on the role of Donald Trump. As you might suspect, it was an SNL alum that presented the idea of Baldwin portraying the Republican presidential hopeful.
“The idea came out of a conversation with Tina Fey at some point during the summer,” explained Michaels. “Then I mentioned it to Alec but he’d already committed himself to a movie and [he and wife Hilaria] were about to have their third child. There were a lot of obstacles in the way to working it out. But I just thought he’d be brilliant doing it and I thought he and Kate [McKinnon] would be a match.”
It certainly is an upgrade in the prestige department over Jim Webb. Baldwin lampooning Trump may have had a bit more bite if the show didn’t go with the highly criticized decision to have the orangest guy in the GOP (non-Boehner division) host the show, but here we are.
THR was also able to nab some remarks from Michaels about the recent cast retooling that saw vets like Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah exit the show. According to Michaels, it was just time to make some readjustments.
THR: There have been some big casting changes this season. Can you explain what happened to Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah?
Michaels: I think that the lifeblood of the shows change. I love Taran, I love Jay, I think they’re both super talented. They’ve both been here six years. And if you don’t keep making changes you don’t change. You know? I can’t explain it any other way, because there’s no way of explaining it. Every now and then new voices come in — both in the writing staff and the cast.
THR: I’m just curious what the difference was between Taran and Jay and other veteran cast members that end up staying with the show much longer?
Michaels: Well, put it this way. Chevy Chase was there for a year-and-a-half. John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd were there for four years. Jimmy Fallon was there for five years. Fred Armisen was I don’t know how many years. It’s whether or not they’re — I don’t know. There’s people’s lives involved here so I’m not really… There are decisions that you intuitively come to, that now we have to do something different, that’s all.
Seeing as Kenan Thompson has been on the show since George W. Bush’s first term, we understand if you don’t find that answer particularly satisfying. The season premiere of Saturday Night Live is scheduled to air this Saturday night.
(Via The Hollywood Reporter)