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Without Alec Baldwin, SNL imagines a world “Through Donald’s Eyes”

John Cena (Screenshot: NBC)

With Saturday Night Live’s resident Donald Trump, Alec Baldwin, seemingly viewing the gig as more of a “when I feel like it” situation, last night’s John Cena-hosted SNL saw the show working around Baldwin’s absence. The cold open, which is where Baldwin’s Trump can usually be found, was instead rather indifferently filled by an appearance by one Walter White. Or rather, Bryan Cranston, tucked into a bald cap as Breaking Bad’s meth-cooking antihero who, as it turned out, not only faked his death but has been named Trump’s nominee for head of the DEA. (Cue lots of winking Breaking Bad references.)


But later in the show—perhaps after tweet-happy Trump went beddy-bye, judging by the lack of a raging anti-SNL tweetstorm as of press time—the episode trotted out a much weirder and sneakily effective broadside against its current favorite target. “Through Donald’s Eyes” is a brief vision of what a typical day is like for The Donald, a hazy, luxurious exercise in self-delusion, sudden bouts of hallucinatory self-doubt, and, finally, the ultimate in megalomaniacal self-regard.

Opening his eyes to the sight of the New York Times declaring itself “biased” and Fox News repeating the words “fantastic” and “landslide,” this Trump sees the world through his own, delusional, ADD tunnel vision, at least until the specter of actual work and a beseeching Trump voter send Trump into a red-tinted panic of distorted perspectives, tiny hands, and furiously boastful tweeting. Thankfully, Kate McKinnon’s creepily maternal Kellyanne Conway talks him down just in time to enjoy a romantic dance with his own reflection (hunky host Cena, in suit, wig, and majestically oversized mitts). It’s a brief, speculative glimpse into just what exactly is going on in that head of Trump’s, and a welcome diversion from the standard Trump impression. It’s gonna be a long four years—the weirder this thing gets, the weirder, it seems, SNL is going to have to get to keep up.

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