Jim Carrey Is Playing Joe Biden on ‘SNL’ after Pitching the Role Himself

"He will give the part energy and strength," Lorne Michaels says of Carrey. "Hopefully it’s funny."
Joe Biden and Jim Carrey
Joe Biden and Jim Carrey

The upcoming 46th season of “Saturday Night Live” is getting a major celebrity addition as Vulture confirms Jim Carrey is set to play Joe Biden on the legendary sketch comedy series. Carrey, who has hosted “SNL” twice before (first on May 18, 1996 and again on January 8, 2011), pitched series creator Lorne Michaels himself on taking over Biden this season. Several actors appeared as Biden during “SNL” Season 45, including Woody Harrelson, Jason Sudeikis (reprising his Biden after playing the politician when he was Vice President), and John Mulaney.

“There was some interest on his part,” Michaels tells Vulture. “And then we responded, obviously, positively. But it came down to discussions about what the take was. He and Colin Jost had a bunch of talks. He and I as well. He will give the part energy and strength, and…Hopefully it’s funny.”

“SNL” Season 46 will now pair Carrey’s Joe Biden opposite Maya Rudolph’s Kamala Harris. Rudolph made her debut as Harris during Season 45 and earned rave reviews and an Emmy nomination for the performance. Michaels tells Vulture that big celebrity cameos are not how he views these cast additions.

“I honestly don’t think of them as celebrity cameos,” Michaels said. “I think that’s the sort of New York Times approach to thinking about things. Alec Baldwin’s probably done the show 25 or 30 times. He’s just part of an extended group in the same way that if Tina Fey has something meaningful to say on Update, we’d welcome her. It’s the same way with Maya [as Kamala] — you saw what she brought to it. So, I don’t think of it that way.”

Michaels continued, “Beck [Bennett] will be doing Mike Pence because he does it brilliantly. And also, you’re talking about candidates who are in their 70s. When you put someone 28 in that makeup, it just different. Obviously Woody [Harrelson] did Biden on the first show last season and did it brilliantly. Jason [Sudeikis] has done it in the past. Part of it also is whoever does it has to basically relocate to New York because of quarantine. So, there were a lot of factors involved in that. But I’m thrilled Jim’s doing it.”

“Saturday Night Live” returns to NBC for Season 46 on October 3.

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