Regardless of where you come down on Saturday Night Live’s recent insistence on using celebrity cameos to play major political figures—from Alec Baldwin’s interminable run as Donald Trump, to appearances by Robert De Niro, Brad Pitt, and more to cover the nation’s most prominent governmental figures—it’s hard to fault the show’s use of these big names as a promotional tactic. So it’s no great surprise to see the NBC sketch series milking the recent addition of Jim Carrey’s Joe Biden to its political menagerie for all it’s worth, rolling out a promo today showing off Carrey, Maya Rudolph’s Kamala Harris, and a couple of probably very expensive wigs.
We’ll be honest: Carrey looks pretty good, despite all; sure, he still pretty much looks like Jim Carrey, but it’s not like we haven’t missed that shit-eating grin in recent years. (Rudolph, of course, is impeccable; we’re just sad she’s not carrying her long-deserved Emmy around with her for every such promotional shoot.) But the whole thing is also symptomatic of SNL’s increasing obsession with celebrity as an indicator of excitement or success. There’s no hint of what kind of jokes the show will actually make about Biden—or even what Carrey’s take on him is going to sound or feel like. The literal takeaway is just, “Hey, Jim Carrey’s here! Isn’t that neat!” Which, yeah, it’s neat. Lots of things are neat. We’ll have to wait for Saturday to find out if Carrey’s impression, and the show’s latest season, will turn out to be anything else.