The 46th season premiere of Saturday Night Live opened precisely like you might expect: Mocking Tuesday night's dumpster fire presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former vice president Joe Biden.
The sketch marked the debut of Jim Carrey as Biden (taking over for Woody Harrelson and Jason Sudeikis before him), while Alec Baldwin returned as Trump. The show wasted no time mocking Trump (yup, even for contracting COVID-19, see video above).
"Did you take the COVID test you promised to take in advance?" asked moderator Chris Wallace (played by Beck Bennett).
"Absolutely, scouts honor," said "Trump" with his fingers clearly crossed. "The China virus is a hoax – and saying that will probably come back to haunt me later this week."
Trump also pulled out his face mask, revealing it to be a pair of sheer panties.
"Biden" reacted by moving his podium further away, and said, "Imagine if science and karma could somehow team up to send us a message about how dangerous this virus could be. I'm not saying I want it to happen, but just imagine it did."
Biden also "muted" Trump with a remote control so we could "just not to hear his voice for a single goddamn second, let's bask in the Trumpless-ness."
Biden was mocked as well for being forgetful, with Carrey's version often struggling to keep his frustration with Trump under control and remember his talking point. "Look here’s the deal … nope, lost it!" Biden said, then to himself: "Your country is counting on you to just stand here and look lucid."
Also, former cast member Maya Rudolph made a cameo as Biden's VP pick Kamala Harris (a portrayal which recently won her an Emmy) to declare herself, "Hot Vice President in Charge."
Despite SNL's usual silliness, the sketch was arguably less weird and volatile than the actual debate.
Former castmember Chris Rock returned for his third turn as host, while Megan Thee Stallion was the musical guest. "President Trump is in the hospital due to COVID, and my heart goes out to COVID," Rock joked in his monologue.
The comedian ended his monologue on a sincere note, saying, “We can beat this if we all work together,” and quoted James Baldwin: “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it’s faced.”
The show was thrown a twist by Trump testing positive for coronavirus on Friday and being rushed to Walter Reed medical center, where he's currently hospitalized.
During the Weekend Update segment, anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che further discussed the Trump news, and whether or not it was okay to make fun of the situation.
“Lot for us to process one day before we came back on the air,” Jost said. “It’s been weird to see all these people who clearly hate Trump come out and say, ‘We wish him well.’ I think a lot of them are just feeling guilty because their first wish came true.”
“A lot of people on both sides are saying there’s nothing funny about Trump being hospitalized for coronavirus even though he mocked the safety precautions for the coronavirus and those people are obviously wrong,” Che added. “There’s a lot funny about this. Maybe not from a moral standpoint. But mathematically, if you were constructing a joke, this is all the ingredients you need. The problem is it's almost too funny. It’s so on the nose. It’s like if I were making fun of belts and my pants just immediately fell down. Is anybody surprised by this? I thought Trump was trying to get the coronavirus ... so all those maskless rallies, that was Trump being safe?"
The season kickoff marked a return to the show's iconic Studio 8H. The last live SNL show was back in March, when Daniel Craig hosted. The show is using a studio audience, but according to The New York Post, potential audience members have to "submit to temperature checks, nasal antigen tests and proper face masks."
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