First it was President Donald Trump’s taxes, then the first debate. Then the seemingly endless and ever-changing news around Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis. Events unfolding just within the last week gave “Saturday Night Live” plenty of ground to cover in its Season 46 premiere, something the writers acknowledged during the cold open, which pitted Alec Baldwin’s Trump against Joe Biden — played for the first time by Jim Carrey — in a “re-broadcast” of the instantly notorious train-wreck of a debate.
“Even though Tuesday feels like 100 days ago. We thought it was important to see it again, since it might be the only presidential debate. And it was pretty fun to watch. As long as you don’t live in America,” the announcer began in the sketch.
The cold open also featured cast member Beck Bennett as Chris Wallace (“I’m Chris Wallace, and I think I’m going to do a really, really good job tonight,” Bennett says, foreshadowing the circus to come) and alum Maya Rudolph reprising her role as vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris.
Carrey debuted his take on Biden, who last season was played by Woody Harrelson, John Mulaney, and Jason Sudeikis. Carrey made his entrance sporting Biden’s trademark slicked-back grey hair and black aviators, making the audience cheer with a cheesy finger-gun shooting routine.
Carrey also captured Biden’s unique folksy charm, with a few “here’s the deal” quips and some self-talk in response to his frustration with Trump’s debate interruptions to “flash them that smile they taught you in anger management.”
He also incorporated what was easily Biden’s most famous line of the debate, when he told Trump to shut up. “I’m sorry, I misspoke,” Carrey said. “What I meant to say was: I’d appreciate it very much if you could just allow me to finish my responses as opposed to sabotaging every waking moment with a toxic geyser of verbal diarrhea, you cracked out, turd-hurling sack of rancid dog snot.”
Unlike in the real debate, which was completely absent any semblance of order thanks to Trump’s incessant interruptions, “SNL” tasked Rudolph’s maternal Harris with the job of restoring order to the bedlam.
“You look at me, Donald,” Harris said. “You do not treat my Joe like that, alright? He’s a nice boy.”
Watch the full sketch below, which also includes a cameo from Harry Styles as himself, offering Biden a guided meditation, and Cecily Strong rehashing Kimberly Guilfoyle’s shouted Republic National Convention performance.