LIVE from New York is Saturday Night Live… 30 days from the most important election of our time. SNL returned to a somewhat normal form in its Season 46 premiere, back in Studio in New York City with an audience (made up of first responders in masks) and host Chris Rock.
The venerated sketch comedy show announced last month that Jim Carrey would portray former Vice President Joe Biden as a recovering anger management patient. The comedian was ready with a white wig and aviator sunglasses. However try as the cold open might, the past week in the real world was just too hard to parody.
The cold opening sketch poked fun at Tuesday’s presidential debate, and although there were vague head nods to President Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis, which dominated the headlines since early Friday morning, it felt like the sketch was written earlier in the week, which is about 200 years in 2020 time. It was already stale.
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“Did you take the COVID test you promised to take in advance?” asked Beck Bennett playing beleaguered moderator Chris Wallace.
“Absolutely, scouts honor,” said Alec Baldwin’s Trump with his fingers crossed. “The China virus is a hoax and that will probably come back to haunt me later this week.”
Later, Carrey’s Biden said, “Imagine if science and karma could somehow team up to send us a message how dangerous this virus could be. I’m not saying I want it to happen, but just imagine it did.” While the audience laughed.
In spite of his storied career in Hollywood, Carrey was an interesting choice to play Biden, especially when there are actors both in the current “SNL” casts and from former seasons (like Jason Sudeikis), who excelled as Biden. The best line from the sketch was one Biden actually uttered during the debate, “Will you shut up, man?”
Maya Rudolph appeared as Kamala Harris as the “Mom” of the debate and well, announcing that “I think if there’s one thing we learned tonight, it’s that America needs a WAP: Woman as President.”
Rudolph, Carrey and Baldwin closed out the long opening with “Live from New York, it’s Saturday night!”
Jessica Velle is writer from Los Angeles, CA. She focuses on shining a light on culturally diverse stories.