Back in 2015, when the events of 2017 were just a flicker on the horizon, Donald Trump hosted Saturday Night Live. This was pretty roundly criticized as a bad idea, and cast member Taran Killam, who had previously spoken about the decision, remembers that there was resistance from the start.
"We could hear the protests during our table read," Killam told NPR's Sam Sanders. "As we're reading 40 mediocre sketches, we just hear, 'No Trump! Donald Trump!' ... I am embarrassed, upon reflection, just because of how everyone was right. Every person outside of that building protesting was absolutely right."
Many people credit SNL for being part of the gradual normalization of Trump's candidacy, and while Killam doesn't think the President's appearance on the show had that much sway in the polls, he does say the incident "grows more embarrassing and shameful as time goes on."
"I don't think the intention of having him on was ever politically based," he continued. "I sincerely believe that. But I don't think it was considered — the implications that it had then and could have moving forward. And I think looking back...there's nothing good I can take from that week. Because he's not an enjoyable person to be around — he's from a different class; he's from a different way of life. There was never any common ground."
He also remembers a particularly depressing anecdote.
"We're at the host dinner, and [Trump] brings Melania and he brings Ivanka and Jared [Kushner]," Killam remembered. "And he says, 'You know, Lorne, if I don't win this thing, I'm gonna be fine. We just bought this beautiful piece of property in Scotland. If I have to be president, I'm never gonna see that thing.' And that that was his priority in that moment, that that was even a consideration, made me sad."
Since leaving Saturday Night Live after that season for unrelated reasons, Killam has gone onto bigger and better things. Most recently, he wrote, directed, and starred in Killing Gunther, in theaters now. Listen to the full NPR interview over here.
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