Writers and actors for “Saturday Night Live” must have been champing at the bit these last few months.
The late-night comedy show aired its last TV episode of Season 45 on March 7, just before COVID-19 intensified across the U.S. (although a couple shows dubbed “Saturday_Night_Live_at_Home” aired in April, with actors appearing from their homes).
The show’s 46th season debuted on Saturday, with just 31 days left to go before Election Day. And the show featured a brand new mega-star — Jim Carrey.
Carrey, known for his wacky antics in films like “Pet Detective” and “Dumb and Dumber,” starred as Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden — and he perfectly nailed his impersonation.
The cold open presented a “re-broadcast” of the first presidential debate between President Trump, played by “30 Rock” actor Alec Baldwin, and Biden. “It was pretty fun to watch — as long as you don’t live in America,” said a screen scroll before the scene began.
Upon his introduction, Carrey comes out wearing Biden’s trademark aviator sunglasses, then does his patented “finger gun,” shooting an imaginary revolver. Carrey then takes out a tape measure, checks the distance between the podiums, then pulls his back a few inches.
Beck Bennett, playing debate moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News, says, “It looks like you’re ready to debate, Joe,”
“Absolutely not,” Carrey says. “I’ve got the beginning of 46 thoughts. Now let’s do this! I’m holding my bladder, let’s get at ‘er.”
Bennett throws the first question to Baldwin. As he answers, the split-screen shows Carrey smiling and shaking his head, just as Biden did throughout the debate. As Biden later answers, he says to himself, “Just flash them all that smile they taught you in anger management.”
Baldwin, for his part, continuously interrupts Carrey until he says, “Will you just shut up?”
“I’m sorry. I misspoke,” Carrey says. “What I meant to say was, ‘I’d appreciate it very much if you just allowed 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.”
“Back to you, Chris,” Carrey says. “You still have two minutes,” Bennett says, prompting Carrey to begin breathing into a paper lunch bag.
“Where was I? Look, here’s the deal,” Carrey says. “No, lost it, come back to me.”
As Baldwin continues to interrupt him, Carrey says, “Look man, I’m a nice guy, but you give any more guff tonight, I’ll rip your face off like a mad chimp,” before telling himself, “The country’s counting on you, Joe. Just stand here and look lucid.”
Carrey then pops in an Air Pod and listens to a Harry Styles meditation tape.
During closing arguments, Carrey’s Biden pulls out a TV remote control and magically “pauses” the president. “Sorry, I think we all needed a break. Isn’t that satisfying? Just not to hear his voice for a single goddamn second,” Biden says. “Let’s wallow in it. Let’s bask in the Trumplessness.”
“Chris, can I speak directly to the American people?” Carrey says.
“Is it going to be weird?” Bennett says.
“Totally weird,” Carrey says. “Look at me. Look directly into my eyeballs. You can trust me because I believe in science and karma. Now just imagine science and karma could somehow team up to send us all a message about how dangerous this virus could be.” He looked toward the paused Trump. “I’m not saying I want it to happen. Just imagine if it did.”