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SNL Returns Tonight: Jim Carrey As Joe Biden

Can comedians who’ve loudly voiced their support for Democrats be trusted to skewer them?

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October 3, 2020

Jim Carrey will play former Vice President Joe Biden when Saturday Night Live returns tonight for its 46th season, and Maya Rudolph will once again play Senator Kamala Harris.

This brings up an interesting question: can comedians who’ve loudly voiced their support for Democrats be trusted to skewer them?

Rudolph recently participated in a fundraiser with Harris, and Carrey has repeatedly made his anti-Trump feelings known through his artwork. After the first debate, he shared a painting of Trump with his hair styled into a swastika, and then he released another of Trump wearing a red MAGA-inspired KKK hood. 

SNL used to be edgy, the comedy daring and risky, and no one in power was safe. That’s not the case anymore. It’s been apparent for a long time that SNL plays favorites. They picked a side. But that might not matter.

Alec Baldwin is a well-known liberal yet his portrayal of Trump was often hilarious (at least back in 2016, before Trump took office). Rudolph already proved her ability to play a convincing Harris last season (although the jokes parodying Harris were mild and anodyne). And Carrey (who is set to replace Jason Sudeikis as Biden), is a solid, believable actor with a background in stand-up comedy and an elastic face. If you’ve never seen Carrey’s first appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, take a moment to watch him morph into Clint Eastwood.

The fact that the performers are obviously biased is kind of fitting, given that the show itself is outright sycophantic toward Democrats.

READ MORE: Carrey compares Trump to The Godfather’s Michael Corleone

When Hillary Clinton lost the election to Donald Trump in 2016, the following episode’s cold open was simply Kate McKinnon as Clinton at the piano playing “Hallelujah.” No jokes, just a somber moment, like they were giving her a funeral. There is no doubt about who SNL supported in that race.

But in a way, that sycophancy might make the show more enjoyable for Republicans – especially if Trump somehow manages to pull off another upset win, as he did in 2016.

Go to YouTube and watch SNL’s parodies of the 2016 Trump-Clinton debates. Those three skits represent SNL at its peak political satire. Scroll through the recent comments though, and it’s not Democrats who are watching. It’s largely Trump supporters who are still watching and leaving comments four years later. 

The skits were clearly written with the expectation that Clinton would win. But there’s something about watching that smug certainty while knowing the real-life outcome that adds a level of unintentional hilariousness to the skits that makes them more enjoyable.

SNL’s 2016 first presidential debate

SNL’s 2016 second presidential debate

SNL’s 2016 third presidential debate

Some of Carrey’s many credits include: In Living Color, Ace Venture: Pet Detective, The Mask, Dumb and Dumber, Batman Forever, Liar Liar, The Truman Show, Man on the Moon, Me Myself and Irene, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Bruce Almighty, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Horton Hears a Who!, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Kick Ass 2, and Sonic the Hedgehog, 

Carrey also recently released a semi-autobiographical novel “Memoirs and Misinformation.”

SNL’s season opener will be hosted by Chris Rock with Musical Guest Megan Thee Stallion.

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