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Alec Baldwin's 17th SNL hosting gig could be an epic showdown with Trump

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Alec Baldwin hasn’t guest hosted Saturday Night Live since last November, but he’s appeared on almost every episode of late, mercilessly skewering President Donald Trump. So it comes as no surprise that the sketch comedy show has tapped the actor for another official hosting gig next month, which, as his 17th time, will extend Baldwin’s lead as the show’s most-frequent host.

Baldwin first hosted SNL in April 1990, and has cultivated some hilarious recurring characters, like a scoutmaster making awkward advances toward Adam Sandler’s Canteen Boy, the radio talk show guest discussing his recipe for “Schweddy Balls,” and now, the 45th president of the United States.

In under five years, Baldwin’s popular string of characters put him into the illustrious five-timer’s club alongside SNL greats like Candice Bergen, John Goodman, and Tom Hanks. The last two people to join that club were Justin Timberlake in 2013 and former cast member Tina Fey in 2015. Baldwin’s closest competitor is Steve Martin, who has hosted 15 times between 1976 and 2009. Goodman, meanwhile, is close on their heels with 13 hosting gigs to his credit.

With Baldwin’s hilarious and fairly accurate impersonation of Trump, chances are he’ll be taking the stage at least a few more times over the next four years to further secure his place in SNL history.

The official hosting gig will be for the February 11 episode, and the musical guest will be Ed Sheeran. Will Baldwin do his monologue as Trump? Will he play other characters as well?

Trump has not taken too kindly to Baldwin’s impression of him, tweeting that it “just can’t get any worse” and calling it “sad.”

Interestingly, Baldwin has said he would stop doing it if Trump releases his tax returns. It looks as though that won’t be happening, so brace yourself for a Trump-filled episode, just in time for Valentine’s Day. Chances are a shirtless Beck Bennett will join in his recurring role as Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Kate McKinnon’s spot-on impression of Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway will be central to the episode as well.

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