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Baldwin Defends SNL Jokes About Trump's Infection

He says show wouldn't mock president if he was 'truly, gravely ill'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 5, 2020 12:31 PM CDT

(Newser) Saturday Night Live is taking some flak for joking about President Trump's illness during its season opener—but Alec Baldwin says the show would have gone easier on the president if he had been "truly, gravely ill." "We only have the words of the White House itself and the people who work there themselves to go on and all of them have been saying he is not in any danger," Baldwin said in an Instagram video posted Sunday, per USA Today. He said a lot of proposed material is turned down "because [it is] deemed inappropriate" and that the producers know what content not to go near. In Saturday's cold open, which mocked Tuesday's debate, Baldwin played Trump opposite Jim Carrey's Joe Biden. "The China virus is a hoax—and that will probably come back to haunt me later this week," Baldwin's Trump said.

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"If you didn't like the sketch, I'm sorry. I thought we kept the gloves on," Baldwin said in the Instagram video. He also discussed the precautions the show is taking during the pandemic, ET reports. "Everybody is masked, everyone has a shield, even the cast has masks and just pulls them off as they do a scene," he said. In Saturday's show, Michael Che defended joking about Trump's coronavirus infection. "There's a lot funny about this—maybe not from a moral standpoint, but mathematically, if you were constructing the joke, this is all the ingredients you need," he said during "Weekend Update." He added: "The problem is, it's almost too funny, like it's so on the nose. It would be like if I were making fun of people who wear belts and then my pants just immediately fell down." (Read more Saturday Night Live stories.)

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