It’s September, and that means another season of “SNL” is upon us.
The most recent new episode of “SNL,” the season 46 finale which aired on May 22, was hosted by “The Queen’s Gambit” star Anya Taylor-Joy, with Lil Nas X as the musical guest. The episode’s cold open was less a sketch and more of a comedy routine from the cast, which spent the opening segment cracking jokes about how insane the past year had been with the pandemic making a major impact on just about everything.
There wasn’t much in the way of celebrity cameos in the 2021 portion of season 46, and, for now, cast member Alex Moffat will continue to play Joe Biden. He played the role for a second time on April 3 in a sketch that also saw Martin Short make a surprise appearance as Kamala Harris’ husband, Doug Emhoff.
The reception for Moffat’s Biden was not exactly enthusiastic, so it’s not hugely surprising that they didn’t use it for the rest of the season. Presumably, we’ll get a new Biden in season 47
Speaking of which, season 47 of “SNL” is just a week away. It’ll premiere on Oct. 2, at 8:30 PT/11:30 ET, and you’ll be able to watch it live on the Peacock streaming service as well, which is a new feature this year.
In the meantime, NBC will air two reruns this week on Saturday night, at 10 p.m. PT/7 p.m. ET and in the normal time slot after the local news.
What should you expect from the new season of “SNL”? In short: politics. Moving on from an election here didn’t calm down the fervor — it heightened it. And, well, it was tough for “SNL” tough to pass up having Aidy Bryant play Ted Cruz as often as possible, which the show keeps doing and will likely do again in the new season.
While the sketch show has certainly had a whiff of “just trying to return to normalcy” since the beginning of 2021, politics remained at the core of the cultural discourse.
Perhaps the biggest splash of season 46 was the addition of Jim Carrey as the show’s resident celebrity Joe Biden during the election cycle. But Carrey dropped out of the role after Trump lost, and “SNL” has now twice had Moffat play the part. Moffat’s Biden has been met with a pretty tepid response both from the studio audience and viewers at home, but that’s to be expected after only big stars have played Biden on SNL for years.
It’s been a strange transition out of the Trump era for “SNL,” which has adopted a softer tone the last couple months of season 46. For example, the show did three separate COVID-19 game show sketches in 2021, two of which were cold open sketches.