Rob Schneider spoke to the New York Daily News recently and couldn’t help but hit on the current state of Saturday Night Live. The comedian and current star of Real Rob on Netflix spoke with the paper to promote the show, but most of it ended up being about the political leanings of SNL and how the show has handled Donald Trump’s candidacy and presidency to this point.
As Schneider points out, today’s SNL is different than when he was a member of the show’s cast. It doesn’t seem to hold the same feel because there is no surprise with the punchlines on the show:
“The fun of ‘Saturday Night Live’ was always you never knew which way they leaned politically,” he told the Daily News. “You kind of assumed they would lean more left and liberal, but now the cat’s out of the bag they are completely against Trump, which I think makes it less interesting because you know the direction the piece is going.”
While he isn’t entirely wrong about the direction of SNL, the entire shift might be more about American society shifting as a whole and those influences. He doesn’t hit at it much in his Daily News quotes but does address it during his clarifications on Twitter after the point.
Schneider’s post-script on Twitter also seemed necessary after his comments on Alec Baldwin in his interview. While he called Baldwin “a brilliant actor,” he didn’t hesitate to say he is “not a comedian” and the Trump impression on SNL is “hard to watch.” The SNL alum compares Baldwin’s impression to Dana Carvey’s famous impression of George H.W. Bush during his tenure on the show, tying it in with his overall comment about the show:
“Carvey played it respectfully,” Schneider said. “To me, the genius of Dana Carvey was Dana always had empathy for the people he played, and Alec Baldwin has nothing but a fuming, seething anger toward the person he plays…
“I don’t find his impression to be comical,” he added. “Because, like I said, I know the way his politics lean and it spoils any surprise. There’s no possible surprise. He so clearly hates the man he’s playing.”
Baldwin gave his response on Twitter, prompting Schneider to reach out and clear the air just a bit:
Schneider’s opinion aside, the Trump question has been a troublesome one since the president hosted the show in the middle of his campaign in 2015. The show received a lot of criticism for the decision and Baldwin’s impression has been seen as a semi-response to that when it was introduced in August 2016 during the presidential debates. The one thing that is certain about the impression is it has been effective. When the president is tweeting his displeasure about an impression, something is hitting. You just have to wonder how much more is left in the tank before the show has to switch it up.