Atamanuik vs Baldwin Just Got Real; Alec Calls Out Atamanuik, Kimmel Chooses Baldwin

Wednesday night on Jimmy Kimmel Live Alec Baldwin was a guest, and he talked about Trump, of course, explaining how he got cast in the role, and how he had no idea what he was going to do the first time he showed up at rehearsal.

But things got weird when Baldwin seemed to call out fellow-Trump impressionist Anthony Atamanuik last night on Kimmel’s show.  Baldwin complained that “there are people who are lobbying to play Trump at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner,” seemingly referring to Atamanuik who he called “a guy who’s on the Internet.” Alec didn’t deny that he also might be lobbying for the gig, but says there are a couple of guys saying “no please, I’m the only man who should play Trump.”

What Alec is likely referring to, is some Twitter buzz that took place just days ago after Trump announced he would not attend the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Various celebrities took to Twitter supporting Baldwin or Atamanuik as potential surrogates for the Commander-in-Chief. Zach Braff backed Baldwin, while Mark Hamill suggested Atamanuik, who eagerly jumped in, encouraging his followers to tweet @whca.

Kimmel is clearly on Team Baldwin, seemingly unaware that there are other prominent Trumps in comedy. “No one will top you on this,” Kimmel replied. “Nobody even knows who these guys are, don’t worry about it.”

We’ve been playing with a pseudo-rivalry on The Interrobang since Baldwin first appeared as Trump on SNL with a vote (Atamanuik won), and a story on the topic this weekend, but the reality is that two Trumps are better than one and we’re fans of both. But with Baldwin clearly more widely known, it’s a bit surprising to see him calling out a fellow artist. And if Kimmel really doesn’t know who Tony is, that’s surprising. Mike Birbiglia, Andy Daly, SNL alum Laraine Newman, Baratunde Thurston, and Huffpo columnist Seth Abramson are all up to speed- he’s not an unknown.

Kimmel might not know this, but Atamanuik has been appearing as Trump (quite brilliantly) long before Baldwin agreed to put on the wig and makeup- since at least the primaries when he and fellow comedian James Adomian went on the road impersonating Trump and Bernie Sanders. Together, their Trump vs Bernie debates were enjoyed and beloved by a broad fan base. The duo performed in theaters, in television specials, on Comedy Central with multiple appearances on @midnight, and on Fusion. James and Tony even released an album that made our year-end list of the top ten albums of 2016.

Over the weekend, while “lobbying”, Atamanuik had actually reached out to Baldwin, suggesting they both perform.


In case there was any doubt about whether Baldwin was referencing Tony, here’s what went down on Twitter today.

It gets crazier. While Atamanuik remained relatively low-key on the issue, now Baldwin is fighting with Adomian, and neither are holding back. Adomian went into full battle mode, and the latest tweets have the word “lawsuit” flying around, with Baldwin threatening to sue anyone accusing him or SNL of stealing from Atamanuik. Early on, there had been allegations raised in the media that Baldwin’s Trump may have borrowed from Atamanuik and that SNL writers might be to blame, but at the time, Tony stayed classy tweeting that he didn’t believe anyone at SNL would do that.

No official comment from SNL yet, but this will surely get worse before it gets better.

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