Alec Baldwin surprised audiences with an unexpected return to “Saturday Night Live” over the weekend, marking his first appearance on the show since the tragic shooting incident on the set of his film “Rust” in 2021. His last appearance on the long-standing NBC comedy sketch show was just over three years ago, where he frequently portrayed then-President Donald Trump.
In a brief and easily missed cameo during the latest episode, Baldwin, who has hosted “SNL” 17 times in the past, appeared at the conclusion of a sketch centered around sleep stories for the Calm app. He exclaimed, “Okay, everybody, let’s get calm!” before joining the host of the evening, Timothée Chalamet, and the musical guest boygenius for the customary end-of-show sendoff.
The October 2021 incident on the set of “Rust” involved Baldwin rehearsing with a firearm that discharged a live round, resulting in the tragic death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and the injury of director Joel Souza. Baldwin, in a previous interview with CNN, denied pulling the trigger on the weapon. Involuntary manslaughter charges against Baldwin were dropped earlier this year.
Recent developments indicate that New Mexico special prosecutors Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis are considering convening a grand jury to determine whether Baldwin should face renewed criminal charges related to the incident. Armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed, facing involuntary manslaughter charges, has pleaded not guilty. David Halls, the film’s assistant director who handed the firearm to Baldwin on the day of the incident, entered a plea agreement earlier this year for the charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon. Despite these legal challenges, production on “Rust” resumed in April and was successfully completed in May.