Another election means another sweaty round of Saturday Night Live trying to wring laughs from our beyond-parody president—who, lest we forget, hosted SNL in 2015 (four years after he dug his heels into the racist Birther movement)—while forgetting to satirize his opponent in any meaningful way. Today, in an interview with Vulture, creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels revealed that not only will Alec Baldwin be back as Trump—we thought your were done, dude—but another celeb who isn’t a cast member has been cast as Joe Biden: Jim Carrey.
“There was some interest on his part. And then we responded, obviously, positively,” Michaels said in the interview. “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… [Laughs.] Hopefully it’s funny.”
Michaels also notes that the state of the election will determine the show’s fall schedule. “I made the decision early on, or at least about a month ago, that we would do something we hadn’t done before, which was five shows in a row,” he said. “Because there are four debates and then it’s Halloween, and that’s the weekend before the election. And sadly, if the election gets extended, then we’ll be doing six or seven shows in a row.” (Note: The election will absolutely get extended.)
As we previously reported, the show’s cast will return to the studio for its 46th season. And, per Michaels, they’ll be joined by a (presumably socially distanced) studio audience. “We need the audience, obviously,” he said. “With comedy, when you don’t hear the response, it’s just different.”
With the kind of comedy we do, which quite often is broad, timing gets thrown off without an audience. And for me, what is most important is when you’re absolutely certain of some piece on Wednesday, and then the dress-rehearsal audience sees it on Saturday and tells you you’re wrong... I think us coming back and accomplishing the show will lead to—I hate to use the word normalcy—but it’s a thing that is part of our lives coming back, in whatever form it ends up coming back. So the physical problems of doing it—number of people who can be in the studio, number of people who can be in the control room, how you separate the band so that they’re not in any jeopardy—all of those are part of the meetings we’ve been having.
As we expected, it’s also been confirmed that Maya Rudolph—also not a cast member, by the way—will return to reprise her turn as Biden’s running mate, U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (expect jokes about her shoes). Will it be her or Carrey who sings a weepy ballad on piano should Trump win again? Hopefully we’ll never have to find out.