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Alec Baldwin's Record-Breaking History as 'SNL' Host

Resident "Saturday Night Live" Donald Trump impersonator Alec Baldwin hosts the show for a record 17th time on Saturday.
Saturday Night Live - Season 42
Host Alec Baldwin in a promo for "Saturday Night Live" on February 7, 2017.Rosalind O'Connor/NBC

Alec Baldwin will shatter his own record when he hosts "Saturday Night Live" for a 17th time this weekend, and all eyes will be on President Donald Trump's Twitter account.

The "30 Rock" star has popped up so frequently to play Trump this season — appearing in 10 out of 13 episodes — that it's easy to forget he's not actually a cast member. But Baldwin was a favorite on "SNL" long before he first donned the wispy blonde wig in October's season 42 opener.

Alec Baldwin and Kate McKinnon on "SNL" in October 2016
Alec Baldwin and Kate McKinnon on "SNL" in October 2016SNL/NBC

The actor has not emceed a full episode since Sept. 24, 2011 when he leaped over Steve Martin in their two-man tie presiding over 15 shows each to set a new hosting record.

Baldwin made his hosting debut on April 21, 1990, as a raven-haired heartthrob there to promote his turn as Jack Ryan in the thriller "The Hunt for Red October."

He proved so popular that it took him just four years to become the tenth person to enter the show's elite 5-timers club — the designation given to people who have hosted the show five times or more — alongside people like Martin, former cast member Chevy Chase, John Goodman and Tom Hanks, who is credited with inventing the club.

Alec Baldwin as Pete Schweddy on "SNL" in December 1998.
Alec Baldwin as Pete Schweddy on "SNL" in December 1998.SNL/NBC

Over the next three decades, Baldwin demonstrated his comedy chops to put his stamp on the show with some now-iconic characters and impressions, but none more important in the "SNL" zeitgeist than the highly divisive GOP presidential candidate-turned-POTUS.

Five men have played Trump on the show over the years, but Baldwin was the first to cause such a stir that Trump regularly tweets condemnation for the show and Baldwin's portrayal, which has only seemed to egg on the outspokenly progressive actor.

Like the president, Baldwin is quick to fire off tweets ranting about his foe.

"Trump is, quite simply, a man who was never embraced by his hometown, by NY society. Not even middle-of-road Repubs. Always peripheral," Baldwin wrote in a Feb. 3 tweetstorm, continuing: "Now he aims, out of spite, 2 destroy everything they hold dear. For Trump and Bannon, the ? is always, 'What will drive liberal NY crazy?'"

The question for Baldwin and "SNL" seems it just might be "What will drive Trump crazy?" with recent sketches lampooning not just the president, but those in his inner circle like White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, played brilliantly by actress Melissa McCarthy, and top adviser Kellyanne Conway, first played by cast member Kate McKinnon as beleaguered but the portrayal has become increasingly antagonistic. And now Rosie O'Donnell has said she is game to play controversial chief strategist Steve Bannon.

RELATED: Trump Tweets ‘SNL’ Is ‘Unwatchable' After Sketch About His Tweets

The show has remained tight-lipped on whether it will take O'Donnell up on her offer or bring McCarthy back for an encore gum-chomping performance, but it seems a smart bet that Baldwin's Trump will make an appearance. Fans will have to wait and see if 1.5 hours of Baldwin is enough to provoke the nation's president to tweet a critique.

Here's a look at some of Baldwin's best characters and impressions over the years that may also show up on Saturday night:

Pete Schweddy

In what is his most iconic "SNL" character other than Trump, Baldwin played it straight as a bakery owner interviewed by NPR hosts about his "Schweddy Balls" in a sketch full of deliciously naughty innuendo. The sketch was so popular that Ben & Jerry's named a specialty ice cream flavor after the famed dish.

"Delicious Dish," Dec. 12, 1998

Scoutmaster Armstrong

In one of the show's most controversial sketches, Baldwin plays a creepy scoutmaster who makes sexual advances toward a naive scout, who it is made clear is a 27-year-old man. Despite Adam Sandler's "Canteen Boy" being a grown up, the show reportedly received multiple complaints that the sketch poked fun at pedophilia.

Baldwin addressed the controversy in his monologue when he hosted again just 10 months later, saying that the sketch offered everyone something to come together over. "North and South Korea issued a joint communique, calling for Adam Sandler's execution," he joked.

"Canteen Boy," Feb 12, 1994

Santa's Head Elf

Baldwin called upon his famous role in the 1992's "Glengarry Glen Ross" in this holiday-themed sketch to let Santa's little helpers know that "cocoa is for cobblers." The actor got so into character that he slipped up when he was supposed to instruct the other elves to "always be cobbling," uttering instead his classic line from the film: "always be closing."

"Glengarry Glen Christmas," Dec 10, 2005

Charles Nelson Reilly

Baldwin embodied real life actor, comedian and prolific game show guest Charles Nelson Reilly as an exasperatingly zany guest playing off straight-man Will Ferrell's amazingly even-keeled James Lipton as he tried to interview Reilly about "acting at its finest."

"Inside the Actors Studio," April 7, 2001

Drunk Salesman

Baldwin made three appearances as a member of Bill Brasky's ensemble of drunken friends who sit around chomping on cigars while loudly recounting tall tales about that "son-of-a-b*tch, Bill Brasky." Former "SNL" writer Adam McKay has said the sketch performed just OK the first time, but recurred often at the specific request of Baldwin and Goodman.

"Brasky's Buddies at an Airport Bar," Jan. 20, 1996

Tony Bennett

Baldwin played Tony Bennett on the show seven times, most often in sketches featuring the iconic singer as an ever-positive host who sings a jazzy tune about how he "loves things that are great." The real Bennett stopped by in 2006 as guest Phony Bennett, a Tony Bennett tribute artist. The two poked fun at each other and sang a duet, and it was clear they were both having a blast doing it.

"The Tony Bennett Show With the Real Tony Bennett," Nov. 11, 2006

Alec Baldwin

One of the most important characteristics of an "SNL" host is self-awareness and Baldwin has it in spades. His very first appearance played off his over-eagerness to charm the audience with his looks. As Baldwin's own persona changed over the years, so too did his "SNL" persona. He poked fun at his personal life, his family, controversies surrounding his past appearances on the show and long-running "feud" with Martin over who would reign as the supreme show host. Saturday is Baldwin's chance to take his rightful place on the Studio 8H throne.

"Monologue: Alec Baldwin's Doubts," February 23, 1991