Ex-'SNL' star: Trump hosting show was 'embarrassing and shameful'

Former “Saturday Night Live” cast member Taran Killam says in hindsight he's "embarrassed" that the show let President TrumpDonald TrumpHarry Reid reacts to Boehner book excerpt: 'We didn't mince words' Man arrested for allegedly threatening to stab undercover Asian officer in NYC Trump says GOP will take White House in 2024 in prepared speech MORE guest host two years ago.

“It was rough. It was not enjoyable at the time and something that only grows more embarrassing and shameful as time goes on,” Killam, who parted ways with NBC’s longrunning sketch comedy show last year, told NPR’s Sam Sanders in a Tuesday interview.

The 2015 hosting gig ahead of the Republican primaries caused controversy, with critics slamming the exposure the late night show gave then-candidate Trump. Protesters even camped outside of the show’s New York studios.


"We could hear the protests during our table read," Killam, who directs and stars in the new mockumentary, “Killing Gunther,” recounted. "As we're reading 40 mediocre sketches, we just hear, 'No Trump! Donald Trump!'”

“I am embarrassed, upon reflection, just because of how everyone was right. Every person outside of that building protesting was absolutely right,” he added.

“I don't necessarily put so much weight into [the idea of] Trump hosting ‘SNL’ helping him become president, but there's definitely something where it normalizes him and it makes it OK for him to be part of the conversation,” Killam told NPR. “And I don't think the intention of having him on was ever politically based. I sincerely believe that. But I don't think it was considered — the implications that it had then and could have moving forward.”

Killam also recounted a dinner with the cast and "SNL" creator Lorne Michaels, that he says Trump attended, along with his wife Melania and daughter Ivanka, and Ivanka's husband, Jared Kushner.

At the dinner, Killam said he was “heartbroken” when Trump lamented he wouldn’t be able to spend time at a property in Scotland if he won the White House.

Killam claims Trump told Michaels: “You know, Lorne, if I don't win this thing, I'm gonna be fine.”

“We just bought this beautiful piece of property in Scotland,” Trump explained, according to Killam. “If I have to be president, I'm never gonna see that thing."

“And that that was his priority in that moment, that that was even a consideration, made me sad,” added Killam.

Calling Trump “completely out-of-touch,” Killam said he didn’t engage in “many in-depth conversations” with the now-commander in chief during his time on “Saturday Night Live” because “there was never any common ground.”

“You couldn’t be like, ‘How was your day?’ And him be like, ‘It was fine. Went for a walk.’ It was always like, ‘My book is number one. It’s very exciting. Everybody’s talking about this rally,’" Killam said.

“I just am so angry at him now,” the California-born performer said of Trump. “At just every move, every response, every tweet, every stance.”

Asked about “SNL” now being the “face of the resistance,” with Alec Baldwin’s bruising weekly portrayal of the president, Killam expressed admiration for the actor, but added: “It certainly feels like there's some hypocrisy there.”

“I guess you could say, ‘Oh, they're righting wrongs.’ And I don't even think it's righting wrongs. I think the show tries to — and in particular, Lorne's outlook is — play to both sides. Play to the masses, play to whatever the popular opinion is a little bit there, you know, whatever the mass consensus is. But, boy, they could definitely mine some comedy out of owning up to it, huh?” he said.