Saturday Night Live rings in its 46th season with its triumphant return to 30 Rockefeller studio and it’s Tri-ump-phant return of Alec Baldwin, its introduction of Jim Carrey as Joe Biden, and bringing Chris Rock back home to host.
A Saturday Night Live for 2020
There were a few things different during the episode that were minor, but worth noting. The newly-shot intro had the cast in masks. There was a much smaller audience present. And while the sound was still full, the house band wasn’t playing with all its members.
But the show must go on – and Chris Rock was the perfect person to bring it all together. He’s an old cast member, from back in the early 1990s. So it’s good to have a friendly face on stage, to usher in what will certainly be a different season. Chris Rock even spent the beginning portion of his monologue clearing the tension from the room.
Not quiet the same as the Lorne Michael’s “Can we be funny?” to introduce Season 27 in September 2001, but different situations require different responses. But, he did speak the most truth-to-power since Sinead O’Connor, saying that America has Dukes and Duchesses (congress people) making decisions for poor people, and the system needs to change. Unlike Sinead O’Connor, America is finally ready to hear that kind of criticism.
Going Big With Biden
It was announced a few weeks ago the Jim Carrey had signed on this season to play Joe Biden, at the same capacity that Baldwin has been Trump. Many people have played Joe Biden over the past year: Woody Harrelson, Jason Sudeikis and John Mulaney (again, why him?). None were chosen to be Biden this year, though – presumably because, when they can, SNL goes for the best. And if you watched last night’s episode, you’ll see that they did.
Any if you didn’t, well, then see for yourself:
He’s got the cadence to Biden’s speech down. And Carrey is really playing up the inner-demons that you see popping up and out of Biden from time-to-time. He’s lowered the creep factor that made Harrelson’s Biden really on-point, and Carrey is more subtle than Sudeikis’ loud mouth braggart. Jim Carrey has the details of Biden fitting nice and snug – you could say, like a glove.
A Fully Functional Saturday Night
The show went off without a hitch – as much as it ever does. There were great sketches. There were mediocre sketches. And there were sketches that made you go “huh?” (thanks for coming back, Kyle Mooney, to give us what is clearly a paid commercial for an upcoming videogame). It’s true form for SNL.
They even made their usual cameo quota. Maya Rudolph showed up as Kamala Harris. There was even a bit of a remote cameo from Harry Styles, reading a meditation tape for Joe Biden.
After last season’s valiant but less-than-stellar attempt to do the episode remotely, it’s refreshing and hopeful to see the show back where it’s supposed to be. We can only trust that the show’s staff are keeping safe, as that’s what’s truly important. But, if they are, then gosh darn, it’s good to have Saturday Night Live back!
Tune in to Saturday Night Live next week Saturday October 10 for host Bill Burr and musical guest Morgan Whalen.
Saturday Night Live can be streamed live and On Demand on the new Global TV App and on STACKTV. Global is also available through all major TV service providers.