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Alec Baldwin was ready to do his Trump impression for the president.
By the Feb. 11 episode, Baldwin had long been lampooning Trump on the NBC sketch series much to Trump’s dismay, also helping to contribute to SNL‘s ratings boon of the 2016-2017 season. So it comes as little surprise that Trump declined the invitation.
“When I hosted, we asked him and invited him to come [to the show],” Baldwin told Ellen DeGeneres while visiting her talk show Wednesday. “We were so hopeful he would come, but he didn’t show up.”
The Ellen DeGeneres Show host said she has never invited Trump to come on her show and added, “I can’t imagine the two of you next to each other.”
Trump, who first hosted SNL in 2004, also led an episode as then-Republican presidential candidate in late 2015. NBC declined to comment on the recent invitation.
Baldwin, who has remained vague about whether or not he and his alter-ego will return to SNL after this season wraps May 20, told DeGeneres that he initially had no interest in playing the now-president.
“I don’t want to play Trump. That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard in my life. Nobody wants to be Trump or play him on a show,” he recalled telling SNL creator Lorne Michaels when he was first approached last summer. But then the movie Baldwin was planning to begin shooting fell through. “Finally, one day I picked up the phone and said, ‘I’m Trump, here I come.'”
Despite their frequent Twitter wars, Baldwin still hasn’t seen Trump in person since he began the impression, explaining to DeGeneres that Trump is the type of New Yorker who would only do a drive-by to society events and isn’t one to hang around and rub shoulders.
After demonstrating his Trump face, he added that he’s happy the White House Correspondents’ Dinner didn’t have him host in Trump’s absence — instead, he delivered a very brief message via video while in Trump character. “They tried to keep it a little bit more informed,” he said, praising the event. “I can’t imagine what it would be like if I ran into him.”
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