(Recasts, adding ratings data for 'Saturday Night Live')
By Jill Serjeant
NEW YORK Dec 7 U.S. President-elect Donald
Trump on Wednesday doubled down on his scorn for satirical TV
show "Saturday Night Live," whose popularity has soared since
Alec Baldwin began impersonating him in the final weeks leading
up to the election.
Trump, a guest host on "Saturday Night Live" in November
2015 when he was running for the Republican presidential
nomination, has vented his anger on Twitter in recent weeks,
calling the NBC show "totally unwatchable" and a
In an interview on NBC's "Today" show on Wednesday, Trump
was asked whether he had considered no longer watching it, given
"I hosted 'SNL' when it was a good show, but it's not a good
show anymore," Trump responded. "First of all, nothing to do
with me, there's nothing funny about it. The skits are
The show's audience has jumped 33 percent since Baldwin
began impersonating Trump in October, according to NBC. The
network said some 11.4 million people on average are watching
the program this season, starting Oct. 1, making it the
most-watched season since 1992.
Trump on Wednesday attempted to cast doubt on the future of
"Saturday Night Live," which has lampooned presidents and
politicians from both parties since it first aired 41 years ago.
"Frankly, the way the show is going now, if you look at the
kind of work they're doing, who knows how long that show's going
to be on. It's a terrible show," Trump said.
The Republican businessman and former star of NBC's reality
TV show "The Apprentice" also said Baldwin's depiction of him
was "really mean-spirited and not very good."
"I do like him and I like him as an actor, but I don't think
his imitation of me gets me at all," Trump added.
Baldwin, who has portrayed Trump as unprepared for office or
tweeting during security briefings, tweeted back to Trump last
week, "Release your tax returns and I'll stop. Ha."
Trump broke with decades of tradition followed by both
Republican and Democratic presidential candidates by refusing to
release his tax returns.
Baldwin, 58, the former star of NBC's comedy "30 Rock," told
celebrity magazine Hola! in an interview, that he was glad other
people found his impressions funny after a divisive election.
"There are bad feelings on both sides, so to have the
opportunity to give people a chance to talk and laugh about it
is a good thing," Baldwin told the U.S. edition of the magazine
in an interview released on Tuesday.
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)