Rob Schneider Says Alec Baldwin's Impersonation Of Donald Trump On 'SNL' Is 'Hard To Watch'
Rob Schneider calls out Saturday Night Live for getting less interesting with the Trump jokes, saying Alec Baldwin's impersonation of the president is "hard to watch."
Schneider, 54, broke into the public eye as one of the iconic '90s cast of Saturday Night Live, but he's not afraid of criticizing the NBC series for being too predictable with their political jokes.
Schneider Slams Baldwin, 'SNL'
The actor and comedian addressed the politics of SNL in an interview with the New York Daily News.
"The fun of Saturday Night Live was always you never knew which way they leaned politically," Schneider explains. "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."
For Schneider, seeing the show take such a strong stance politically on a regular basis makes the skits predictable and takes the fun out of the punch line.
The Real Rob star goes on to compare Baldwin's recurring impersonation of President Donald Trump to Dana Carvey who used to do impressions of George H.W. Bush in SNL. Carvey was respectful and emphatic, he explains, while Baldwin only has "a fuming, seething anger" toward his subject.
Schneider adds that while Baldwin is brilliant as an actor, he's no comedian.
"I don't find his impression to be comical," the comic says. "I know the way his politics lean and it spoils any surprise ... He so clearly hates the man he's playing."
While Schneider finds the political comedy of SNL too on the nose, the NBC show has improved their ratings in the Trump era, according to Entertainment Weekly.
It's impossible to pinpoint the reason to a single performer, but the first full season with Baldwin playing Trump had an average of 11.1 million viewers. This marks the show's highest average viewership in about 23 years.
It's not the first time Schneider has spoken up about Baldwin's portrayal of Trump. In an interview with People Now, the comedian praised Baldwin for being "brilliant," saying that like Tom Hanks, he could easily have been one of SNL's original cast members.
However, he calls out Baldwin's lack of empathy once again.
"The thing about Alec is that you have to have empathy for the person you're impersonating. Otherwise, it's just not interesting," Schneider explains. "I would say he has no empathy for the person."
"With political comedy specifically, you have to not telegraph where you're going, otherwise it's not interesting," he says.
Schneider's Personal Politics
A self-described centrist, Schneider doesn't reveal to Daily News whether he chooses to support Trump or he doesn't. He is outspoken in opposing the president's stance in immigrants, but describes him as nice and generous when they filmed Home Alone 2: Lost in New York together.
The actor-comedian points out that bashing the president is counter-productive, describing getting the president nervous is just like telling Bill Cosby "to top off your drink."
The comedian spent most of his life as a Democrat, but he recently became an Independent instead. When it comes to comedy and politics, Schneider makes fun of everyone in equal measure.
Real Rob's first two seasons are streaming on Netflix.