Thanks to the Trump administration, "Saturday Night Live" is enjoying its highest ratings in decades. It's hard to even imagine processing the daily flood of political news without looking forward to Alec Baldwin's over-the-top Donald Trump impression, Melissa McCarthy's hilarious Sean Spicer or Kate McKinnon's crazy Kellyanne Conway.
A new feature in "The Hollywood Reporter" reveals some juicy insider details from the cast and crew on topics ranging from a Trump cabinet member's reaction to Baldwin's impersonation to the reason Rosie O'Donnell wasn't hired to play Steve Bannon.
Here are some of the highlights:
Someone in the President's Inner Circle LOVES Baldwin's Trump Impression
According to Baldwin, the cabinet member said, "I gotta tell you something. This thing you're doing is good, it's really good. ... I'll get fired if anybody quoted me saying this, but that's exactly what he's like when you do it."
People Consider Baldwin a National Hero -- Or the Worst Person Ever
Baldwin says he gets a lot of "Great job, Alec!" and "Thank you" when he's out in public, and producer Steve Higgins said some people think "he's the only hope there is, which is an odd place to put a comedian." But Trump supporters who run across Baldwin react a bit differently. "You get this look and you can just feel the hatred," Baldwin said.
Most of the Cast Was Stunned, Heartbroken by Election Results
Colin Jost said the day after Trump was elected got "extremely sad and very disorienting," and "no one was feeling very funny." Cecily Strong said she ran into Kate McKinnon in the hallway, and they hugged each other and sobbed. But one person who wasn't very shocked at all was Leslie Jones. "That's pretty much how I am when I'm around my white friends. It's like we've been living in this world forever, and you all just woke up to it."
When Baldwin Hosted, He Wanted Trump to Guest Star
Baldwin says he urged executive producer Lorne Michaels and his staff to invite the president to join them. "I would have loved to have had him," he said. A show spokesperson said the request was never made.
Melissa McCarthy Doesn't Appreciate Her Resemblance to Sean Spicer
"When I read the script, I was like, 'Oh, God, that is juicy, but I don't understand how we're going to physically make it work,'" she said. "To which the amazing special effects person at 'SNL' was like, 'Oh, yeah, that's not that big of a deal. That's gonna take me, like, 15 minutes.' I was like, 'Hey!'"
Colin Jost Doesn't Think "SNL" or Jimmy Fallon Helped Get Trump Elected
"I always think it's so funny when people talk about the idea that we somehow introduced him to America or that our show or Jimmy Fallon has humanized him," the Weekend Update host said. "He's been on the cover of every tabloid consistently for 30 years. When he hosted last season, the worry was, 'Would he have burned out by the time he even came to host?'
Rosie O'Donnell Wasn't Cast as Steve Bannon Because She Hates Trump Too Much
Leslie Jones said she asked Lorne why he didn't bring Rosie in after she tweeted her eagerness to play the role, and Lorne replied, "When you're playing a character, you can't play it from hate. You have to play it from funny, because when you play it from hate, it looks like you're just being mean."
Dave Chappelle's Amazing Post-Election Monologue was Unrehearsed
Guest writer Neal Brennan says Chappelle's initial performance during dress rehearsal wasn't very good, but he told Lorne, "All I can tell you is, I promise I'll give you two minutes of magical TV." Then he went on stage for the live show and gave an off-the-cuff monologue about being invited to the White House, and knocked it out of the park. "He's just playing a different game than the rest of us," Brennan said.
The 'SNL' Crew Feels Guilty About Their Ratings.
Colin Jost said the show is enjoying the effects of a "full-blown national phenomenon" in politics, which is great for ratings. But "you almost feel like a war profiteer at times because we've benefited from a situation that's so tough."