Alec Baldwin is ready to do his make-fun-of-Donald-Trump thing even when he's not getting paid by Saturday Night Live. Only he might want to find a better Russian translator.
SNL is on a break so Baldwin wasn't cavorting as Trump this Saturday. Instead, he went to his Instagram page to post a picture of himself, looking rather sinister in a red baseball cap with white lettering, like those red caps that Trump wore during his presidential campaign saying, "Make America Great Again."
It was supposed to be a sight gag: The white lettering was in the Russian Cyrillic alphabet. "Make America Great Again," only in Russian.
Chuckle, chuckle: A not-subtle reference to Trump's fondness for Russian strongman Vladimir Putin and his initial rejection of the findings of a unified U.S. intelligence community that Putin likely led a Russian effort to influence or interfere in the 2016 presidential election.
(On Sunday, the president-elect's incoming chief of staff, Reince Priebus, said Trump now accepts that the Russians played a role in hacking Democrats during the election, but Trump himself hasn't said so and he has a history of later contradicting what his surrogates say.)
The result of said election: Trump is set to become the 45th president of the United States on Jan. 20.
But Baldwin's joke went somewhat awry when Russian speakers pointed out that the Russian grammar on Baldwin's hat was incorrect and likely stemmed from Baldwin's use of Google Translate, reported CNN.
Jill Dougherty, CNN's former Moscow bureau chief, said the Cyrillic on Baldwin's cap is not how actual Russians would say Trump's slogan or write it. "In fact, we just Google-translated it, and it's translated exactly like on the cap," Dougherty said.
Baldwin got more than 24,000 likes and more than 2,000 comments on his Instagram picture. Many of them were appreciative ("Hilarious!" "Amazing!"), many of them were not ("You are an old has been," "Your brain has been hacked"). In fact, it has to be said that hardly anyone on social media in America is a stickler for grammar and punctuation in English, let alone Russian.
"Thanks, love your humor, great job doing trump. Hope you can use this hat on SNL," posted Cheryl Russell.
"Comrades don't let comrades use Google Translate. It should say 'Вернём Америке былое величие'," posted batcopyeditor.
Since he debuted his fish-lipped Trump impersonation on SNL, Trump has tweet-bashed Baldwin and SNL as unfunny and unfair. But as of Sunday morning, he confined his tweets to blasting another favorite bete noire: The media.
Before I, or anyone, saw the classified and/or highly confidential hacking intelligence report, it was leaked out to @NBCNews. So serious!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 8, 2017