Alec Baldwin. I didn’t like him, then I liked him. Now I just want him to go away and not come back until he’s thought about what he’s done.
When he’d host Saturday Night Live – which, for a while, seemed to happen every other Saturday – the vibe I got was: pompous, self-aggrandizing actor doing funny sketches. Then he started to win me over. There was just enough self-deprecation to make him seem charming.
During a nightmare divorce from Kim Basinger and a hellacious child custody battle, Baldwin’s vitriolic blow-ups were forgiven because people like Tina Fey stood by him. Besides, divorce makes monsters out of most. Baldwin’s philanthropy and liberalism helped, and I couldn’t deny his hilarious appeal on 30 Rock.
When Baldwin was given Here’s The Thing, a talk show on National Public Radio, I was still enjoying his Fey-penned role as Jack Donaghy every week, so I was interested to hear him talk to such luminaries as David Letterman, Chris Rock, Thom Yorke and Dick Cavett. I listened to five episodes. If Baldwin wasn’t engaging in shameless on-air ass-kissing, he was squeezing as many of his own self-serving anecdotes into each interview as he could, lest his guest or listeners forget who was boss. It was then reported that his pants were in a perpetual twist about the fact that 30 Rock was – and was only ever meant to be – Fey’s show and not his own. 30 Rock revived his career.
Despite Baldwin’s impaired social skills and ungracious professional attitude, he was given Up Late, a talk show on MSNBC. Within a month, Up Late was over when Baldwin was fired for getting into it with a member of the paparazzi, whom he called a “cocksucking faggot”. Baldwin remained largely unapologetic, blaming “fundamentalist gay activists” for the demise of his show.
Baldwin is a wealthy, hyper-masculine, white male with a certain measure of talent and an anger management problem. I’d like to think that he’d see the error of his ways and publicly apologize for ever opening his mouth. Then again, he’s been in the press way too much already, between issues with reporters, the paparazzi, his stalker, his family, his ex, and the flight attendant who interrupted his game of Words With Friends. He’s threatened to leave the business because of the toll it takes on his private life. Good idea. It might be best to just shut the hell up for a while.