Created on: January 21, 2013
In 2011, Alec Baldwin, popular star of NBC’s “30 Rock” comedy series, became a “Saturday Night Live” ("SNL") icon. Beating out Steve Martin, Baldwin became the only person to have hosted the late night show for the 16th time. Just what is it that keeps the show calling him back for yet another encore?
If one looks at some of his best skits (even one that spawned a new flavor of ice cream), it’s clear that Baldwin has the comedy chops that audiences love. His hosting and comedic skills go back to the 1990s, but he’s just as fresh and funny today. One need look only at some of his best appearances to see that it’s no surprise that Baldwin is an all-time favorite.
Baldwin’s most iconic moment
Hands down, there’s nothing like Schweddy Balls, a spoof on a National Public Radio (NPR) cooking show entitled “Delicious Dish,” in which Baldwin introduces this dish. Baldwin is Peter Schweddy, of course, who appears on a holiday edition of the radio chat show, noting “There are lots of great treats this time of year, zucchini bread. Fruitcake. But the thing I most like to bring out at this time of the year are my balls. No one can resist my Schweddy Balls.”
The skit was so popular (and synonymous with Baldwin) that the ice cream company, Ben & Jerry’s, known for their irreverent take on that tasty treat, decided to create a flavor with that name. According to Baldwin, “For a long time, I thought that ‘Here lies Pete Schweddy’ would end up on my tombstone. Now, thanks to Ben & Jerry’s, the goodness of the Schweddy family recipe won’t go with me to the great beyond.”
Not everyone was fond of the name choice, however. The group One Million Moms (part of the ultra-conservative American Family Association) protested the name. Apparently, they didn’t want their kids crying out for Schweddy Balls across the grocery store aisles.
Baldwin as Charles Nelson Reilly
While Baldwin is perfect at pulling double-entendres without a hint of a laugh, he’s also very good at doing impersonations. He has done any number of politicians over the years, but it’s his bit with Will Ferrell (as the iconic James Lipton) on “Inside the Actors Studio” that captures his comic genius.
As Charles Nelson Reilly, Baldwin wins over Lipton (Ferrell) who comments, “If you ever want to see acting at its finest, acting that will make you re-examine your life, acting that will make you see the world for the first time, watch the 1969 television series ‘Love
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