12:55pm PT by Michael O'Connell
Alec Baldwin Says Trump Is Like Norman Bates
Alec Baldwin finds himself very busy this fall. After months of working from home, where he’s been recording his podcast during the pandemic, the TV personality back on the air in ABC’s Match Game and (presumably) back on the set of Saturday Night Live.
The variety show makes its unconventional return to Studio 8H this coming weekend. And whether it’s this weekend or later in October, the looming presidential election pretty much demands Baldwin reprise his parody of Donald Trump. Speaking with THR over the phone just before the first of the debates, Baldwin confirmed that he remains as exasperated as ever over the current administration — though he does have an interesting new analogue, in the form of Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, for the man he’s won an Emmy by lampooning.
“Nothing would make me happier than to see this end,” says Baldwin, referring to both the Trump presidency and his long-running portrayal. “It’s not about climate denial or racial insensitivity, it's a form of insanity. This vision of what the world is, these white privilege optics of the world, is really like Norman Bates’ dead mother in the basement. Just keep putting some powder on her, keep putting some makeup on her, keep throwing your voice, ventriloquist-style into her dead corpse. Trump and his minions continue to try to keep alive this faded, bygone view of what this country is and should be. To me, they're psychotics.”
At the time he spoke, Baldwin wasn’t sure what specific precautions there would be at SNL to ensure safety and a studio audience — though he did joke about “plexiglass panels put up like a hockey game.” As for Match Game, the latest batch of episodes (airing Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET on ABC) was filmed before lockdown in March. Baldwin suggested future episodes may tape in Los Angeles, not New York, in an effort to limit talent travel. “I'm delighted and mystified by the continuing life of Match Game,” he says. “We are going to go do some more. They're just looking over COVID protocols.”
In the meantime, and whether or not Baldwin is needed on SNL, the actor is navigating protocols on another project. This month, the actor goes into production on Peacock’s drama adaptation of the popular Dr. Death podcast — and Baldwin says he’s going to be getting tested three times a week.
“We're not spitting in a cup, you know,” says Baldwin. “I mean the full cranial scraping. But I think everybody gets it. We just really want to get back to work.”