NBC is excited about the prospect of featuring Alec Baldwin — the former 30 Rock star whose President Trump impersonation helped make Saturday Night Live’s Emmy-nominated 42nd season a ratings bonanza — as Col. Jessep in a 2018 live presentation of Aaron Sorkin’s A Few Good Men.
(The spelling of the character’s name is from Sorkin’s original Broadway play, which was changed to “Jessup” for the movie.)
Me, I’m not sure any of us is ready to handle that much truth.
You may recall Jessep as the snarling character Jack Nicholson played in the 1992 movie, adapted by Sorkin from his play. You may recall that Baldwin, recently roasted on Spike TV by some of his nearest and dearest, including his own daughter, is a master of the snarl.
You may recall Baldwin more recently as the voice of Boss Baby, where his timeless (and also much parodied line) from Glengarry Glen Ross became, “Cookies are for closers.”
And maybe recalling all that makes you as excited as NBC about hearing Baldwin thunder, “You can’t handle the truth!” in a military courtroom on live TV.
Or even as excited as Sorkin, who’s adapting his play again for television, and said this in a prepared statement released by NBC on Monday:
“Alec is one of our greatest actors. Having him play this role — live onstage for a television audience — is a dream come true. This will be a brand new take on Nathan Jessep, and I expect that Alec is going to bust through TV screens and right into living rooms.”
Which sounds good, but also maybe a little bit terrifying.
And while I appreciate why Baldwin, who was a serious actor long before he became America’s foremost Donald Trump impersonator, might want to tackle a dramatic role again, I’m not sure how many more larger-than-life, angry Baldwin personas television can absorb right now.
But I guess we’re about to find out.