It was hard enough just saying goodbye, but the moment I heard about the casting decisions on Saturday Night Live, the first thought that jumped into my brain was who will play Donald Trump now that Taran Killam is gone? The show hasn't officially announced who will play the Republican nominee when it returns for Season 42 on Oct. 1, with Margot Robbie hosting, but I suspect they'll have Beck Bennett step into the shoes so recently vacated by Killam. And, as happy as I am for whoever gets the opportunity after him, it's a real shame for Killam; he only got to play Trump for one season, and I was always pleased by his impression.
Update: Per a promo for Saturday Night Live's Oct. 1 episode, Alec Baldwin will portray Trump, beginning with a sketch alongside cast member Kate McKinnon, who will portray Hillary Clinton. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Baldwin will portray Trump for the entire season.
Previous: The performer had a good feel for not only the wide range of faces displayed by Trump — from the laid-back smile to the pout to the way he pauses with his mouth open and teeth almost bared — but also for the candidate's voice. I felt like Killam really nailed every aspect of the performance, which is why, heading into the election, I was so surprised to see him go. But go he did, so, as a little reminder of what we'll be missing this season, here's Killam killing it as Trump during a cold open during Season 41.
Pretty great, right? Killam really understood the minutiae of the character in a way that will be tough to replace. But, since there's no way the show is going to miss out on the opportunity to parody one of the most controversial nominees in history, SNL needs to find themselves a Donald Trump. If they're smart, I think it should be Beck Bennett. In addition to being the cast member who most closely looks the part, Bennett also has the experience to pull off this role. He joined the show in 2013, meaning this will be his fourth season, but he hasn't really gotten a chance to shine just yet. I think this would be the perfect moment for him to draw on his experience with the show and comfort in front of the camera — those first-season jitters have long-since worn off — and take that next step to being a star on the show, like a Kristen Wiig or a Kate McKinnon.
And, hey, it's worth pointing out that Bennett's most memorable character up until now has been a giant baby in a full suit, destroying an office with his tantrums, so it's not like he hasn't had the training for this. Just saying.