'SNL' Alum Claims Writers Were Pressured to Make Donald Trump Seem 'Likable' Ahead of Presidential Election

SNL Alum Taran Killam claims that writers on the show were pressured to make Donald Trump seem "likable" ahead of the 2016 Presidential election.

Huffington Post reports that Killam appeared on a podcast recently and said that, while lately the show has been mocking Trump pretty hard, it hasn't always been that way behind-the-scenes.

"Lorne [Michaels, SNL's executive producer] was being so specific about what we could and couldn’t say about him," the former cast member said while speaking about a a specific sketch where Trump was interviewed by CNN. "He was dictating a lot of the settings."

Killian then went on to explain how he remembered Michaels arguing against the sketch.

"It’ll be too old news by then, and you know, you don’t want to vilify him. He’s like any New York taxi driver. I know him, I’ve seen him around at parties for years and years, and he just says whatever it is he’s thinking, and that’s his thing," Killam said while delivering the lines with an impression of Michaels' voice. "But, you know, you have to find a way in that makes him likable and why don’t we do something where it’s him in his apartment, and it’s him and Melania and he’s just a guy..."

Killam added that he was very surprised at how hard Michaels was fighting to keep the sketch from happening.

"I was like, what is happening? What is going on? Everybody that I know and respect is like, this guy is a bad dude, this guy is a buffoon," he stated.

Eventually, though, Killam revealed that it all made sense when he saw Trump's name listed on the board for upcoming hosts. "It was like, oh, OK, that’s why. I see," he said.

In addition to his comments on Trump and Michaels, Killam — who was inexplicably let go from SNL in 2016 — also spoke about how much Seth Meyers leaving the show in 2014 had an impact on things.

"When Seth Meyers left the show, the dynamic changed quite a bit. He was the last person there who I witnessed really collaborate with Lorne, as opposed to just kind of do what Lorne says," he asserted.


"And I also think the 40th [anniversary show] really sort of affected Lorne in that I think it was exciting and I think it was flattering and I think he was really able to sort of relish in this incredible institution that he’s responsible for and all these amazing iconic careers and all of his famous friends, and it had to have been the most potent overwhelming boost of a ‘this is your life’ experience ever," Killam added, per Vulture. "And then it all went away, and then it was back to this cast who’s all 40 years younger than you and aren’t as famous as Tina Fey or whatever, and my experience was he became very impatient."

Killam's new series, Single Parents, airs Wednesdays on ABC.