'SNL' alum says writers were pressured in 2015 to make Donald Trump 'likable'

President Donald Trump doesn’t get much love from “Saturday Night Live” these days (and he, in turn, absolutely hates it).

But things were different as recently as 2015, according to “SNL” alum Taran Killam, who left the show the following year.

In fact, Killam claimed this week on Matt Gourley’s “I Was There Too” podcast that at one point, “SNL” creator Lorne Michaels ordered writers not to vilify Trump, who was then a presidential candidate. Michaels, Killam claimed, told the show’s writers to make Trump appear “likable.”

“Lorne was being so specific about what we could and couldn’t say about him,” Killam says in the podcast, describing a proposed skit involving Trump being interviewed by CNN.

“He was dictating a lot of the settings,” he added, claiming Michaels argued against doing the sketch as follows:

“It’ll be too old news by then, and you know, you don’t want to vilify him. He’s like any New York taxi driver. I know him, I’ve seen him around at parties for years and years, and he just says whatever it is he’s thinking, and that’s his thing. But, you know, you have to find a way in that makes him likable and why don’t we do something where it’s him in his apartment, and it’s him and Melania and he’s just a guy...”

(As a bonus, Killam delivers all of the above in a plummy Lorne Michaels voice.)

17 PHOTOS
Donald Trump on 'Saturday Night Live' through the years
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Donald Trump on 'Saturday Night Live' through the years
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 16 -- Air Date 04/03/2004 -- Pictured: Host Donald Trump during the monologue on April 3, 2004 (Photo by Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 16 -- Air Date 04/03/2004 -- Pictured: (l-r) Darrell Hammond, Donald Trump during the monologue on April 3, 2004 (Photo by Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 16 -- Air Date 04/03/2004 -- Pictured: (l-r) Donald Trump, Darrell Hammond as Regis Philbin, Amy Poehler as Kelly Ripa during the 'Live with Regis & Kelly' skit on April 3, 2004 (Photo by Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 16 -- Air Date 04/03/2004 -- Pictured: Donald Trump during the 'Donald Trump's House of Wings' skit on April 3, 2004 (Photo by Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 16 -- Air Date 04/03/2004 -- Pictured: (l-r) Amy Poehler, Kenan Thompson, Donald Trump, Seth Meyers, Maya Rudolph during the 'Donald Trump's House of Wings' skit on April 3, 2004 (Photo by Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 16 -- Air Date 04/03/2004 -- Pictured: (l-r) George Ross, Donald Trump, Carolyn Kepcher during 'The Apprentice' skit on April 3, 2004 (Photo by Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 16 -- Air Date 04/03/2004 -- Pictured: Host Donald Trump during the monologue on April 3, 2004 (Photo by Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 16 -- Air Date 04/03/2004 -- Pictured: (l-r) Donald Trump as Jerry the Janitor, Darrell Hammond as Donald Trump during 'The Prince and the Pauper' skit on April 3, 2004 (Photo by Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 16 -- Air Date 04/03/2004 -- Pictured: (l-r) Seth Meyers as Peter Fleck, Donald Trump as Gary Fleck during the 'Father and Sons' skit on April 3, 2004 (Photo by Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 16 -- Air Date 04/03/2004 -- Pictured: (l-r) Amy Poehler as Carolyn Kepcher, Donald Trump during 'The Apprentice Band' skit on April 3, 2004 (Photo by Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 16 -- Air Date 04/03/2004 -- Pictured: (l-r) Bootsy Collins, Donald Trump and Frederick 'Toots' Hibbert of Toots and the Maytals on April 3, 2004 (Photo by Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- 'Donald Trump' Episode 1687 -- Pictured: (l-r) Cecily Strong, Donald Trump on November 3, 2015 -- (Photo by: Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- 'Donald Trump' Episode 1687 -- Pictured: (l-r) Sia, Donald Trump, and Kate McKinnon on November 5, 2015 -- (Photo by: Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- 'Donald Trump' Episode 1687 -- Pictured: (l-r) Bobby Moynihan as Ronald McDonald McTrump, Vanessa Bayer, Donald Trump, and Cecily Strong during the 'Porn Stars' sketch on November 7, 2015 -- (Photo by: Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- 'Donald Trump' Episode 1687 -- Pictured: (l-r) Donald Trump and Kenan Thompson as Toots Hibbert during the 'Toots Song Intro' sketch on November 7, 2015 -- (Photo by: Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- 'Donald Trump' Episode 1687 -- Pictured: (l-r) Sasheer Zamata as Omarosa, Bobby Moynihan, Donald Trump as the President of The United States, Cecily Strong as Melania Trump, Kenan Thompson, and Kyle Mooney during the 'White House' sketch on November 7, 2015 -- (Photo by: Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- 'Donald Trump' Episode 1687 -- Pictured: (l-r) Taran Killam, Donald Trump, and Darrell Hammond during the monologue on November 7, 2015 -- (Photo by: Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
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Killam says he was baffled by Michaels’ directive.

“I was like, what is happening? What is going on?” he told Gourley. “Everybody that I know and respect is like, this guy is a bad dude, this guy is a buffoon.”

But he said it all made sense to him several weeks after the toned-down segment aired, when he saw Trump’s name added to the board of upcoming hosts. “It was like, oh, OK, that’s why,” he said. “I see.”

Michaels has not responded to Killam’s claims.

Trump eventually hosted the show in November 2015. Killam said last year that the highly protested episode “only grows more embarrassing and shameful as time goes on.”

Check out the full podcast below. Killam’s comments on Trump and “SNL” are from the 45-minute mark.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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