Saturday Night Live hit a six-year ratings high this weekend, and has never felt more politically relevant. Though he claims to hate the show, US president Donald Trump is an avid watcher. Not only does he regularly tweet about it, but he also apparently uses the NBC sketch comedy series as a barometer with which to judge his own appointees.
According to Politico, Trump was none too pleased with Melissa McCarthy’s spoof of press secretary Sean Spicer on SNL last week. “Trump doesn’t like his people to look weak,” a top donor said, referencing the fact that Spicer was portrayed by a woman.
Hollywood has taken notice of the show’s newfound sway inside the Oval Office. Several actors have come forward, ready and willing to jump into the fray and play Trump team members on Saturday Night Live.
Already, the show has cast a number of Trump’s cabinet members (as well as Alec Baldwin, who hosted Sunday’s episode, as the president himself):
|Alec Baldwin||Donald Trump|
|Melissa McCarthy||Sean Spicer (press secretary)|
|Kate McKinnon||Jeff Sessions (attorney general), Kellyanne Conway (counselor to the president), Betsy DeVos (education secretary)|
|John Goodman||Rex Tillerson (secretary of state)|
|Cecily Strong||Melania Trump (first lady)|
|Beck Bennett||Vladimir Putin|
But there remains many Trump cabinet members and advisors who have yet to be spoofed by the NBC show. These include: Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin, National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, and key advisors Steve Bannon, Jared Kushner, and Stephen Miller.
And at least some of those—Bannon and Miller in particular—would likely inspire comedy gold the same way that Spicer and his shameless lying and aggressive demeanor in the White House press room gave McCarthy the fodder she needed to lampoon him. Luckily, there are actors lining up to play them:
Zach Braff (Stephen Miller)
This morning, the Scrubs actor tweeted at SNL creator-producer Lorne Michaels his desire to play Trump’s senior advisor, Stephen Miller.
Miller made the rounds on the Sunday talk shows this weekend and was soundly criticized for repeating and defending the president’s lies about widespread voter fraud during the election. Braff definitely has the comedic chops to make an SNL guest spot, and even looks a little like Miller, too ( even more so with a shaved head).
Christine Baranski (Betsy DeVos)
If Betsy DeVos ever gets the full SNL treatment (McKinnon has played her briefly before), Baranski has to be the favorite for the role. The Good Wife actress (who now stars in a spinoff of the CBS legal drama, The Good Fight) told Vanity Fair last week that she wants to portray DeVos.
“It would seem somewhat logical—we have that strong jawline, don’t we?” she said. “The [SNL] sketches have been unbelievable all through the election, and the post-election. So yeah, we could have a revolving door of people playing the cabinet members and all.”
DeVos has become infamous for some very questionable answers she gave during her senate confirming hearings. A sketch satirizing those hearings could write itself, though it makes one wonder if it could ever be as crazy as the real thing.
Rosie O’Donnell (Steve Bannon)
Trump archenemy Rosie O’Donnell was the first person to publicly lobby for a guest spot on SNL following McCarthy’s portrayal of Spicer. Not only did she tweet that she was “here to serve,” she then changed her Twitter avatar to an uncanny mashup of hers and White House chief strategist Steve Bannon’s faces:
O’Donnell as Bannon would fit the subversive theme of women playing the men on Trump’s team, and perhaps it would make Trump think of Bannon in a new light. The actress and comedian’s feud with Trump dates back over a decade: She, more than any other public figure, has drawn the ire of the new US president. If O’Donnell were to play Bannon, it could drive the president nuts.
Billy Baldwin (Eric Trump)
One Baldwin brother already plays Trump on SNL, but could another brother join the fun? Actor Billy Baldwin, Alec’s younger brother, told Access Hollywood that he’s game to play Trump’s middle son, Eric.
The Trump family has been portrayed in spurts on the show—actress Margot Robbie guest starred as Ivanka Trump while cast members Mikey Day and Alex Moffat have played Trump sons Donald Jr. and Eric, respectively. And, of course, Cecily Strong has routinely played first lady Melania Trump, depicting her as an unhappy trophy wife trapped in a life of loneliness and regret.
Margaret Cho (Ben Carson)
Ben Carson, the former presidential candidate and current nominee for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, has mostly stayed out of the spotlight since Trump became president. But that could soon change if SNL decides to make him the subject of its next satirical sketch.
In response to O’Donnell’s offer, comedian Margaret Cho threw herself into the mix. Referencing his subdued demeanor, Cho submitted her candidacy to portray Carson: