Saturday Night Live is entering its 46th season this fall and, as always, the show will feature a lot of political satire. Executive producer Lorne Michaels recently shared who’ll be back and who’ll be new to the variety/sketch comedy Emmy-winning series.
Jim Carrey To SNL As Joe Biden
“There was some interest on his part,” Michaels told Vulture. “And then we responded, obviously, positively. But it came down to discussions about what the take was. He and [head writer] 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.”
This is arguably “stunt-casting” but other SNL players who’ve been in political sketches as real-life figures have stronger ties to the show. Alec Baldwin, who has played President Trump for the last few years, has hosted the show numerous times. Maya Rudolph, who is coming back as Kamala Harris, Biden’s running mate, was a regular on the show from 2000 to 2007. She’s returned many times to host and appear in sketches. Last year, she debuted as Senator Harris.
Tina Fey, who played Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska, in numerous sketches, was a cast member from 2000 to 2006 and was head writer on the show from 1999-2006.
“I honestly don’t think of them as celebrity cameos,” Michaels says of the actors who join the show to play political figures. “Alec Baldwin’s probably done the show 25 or 30 times. He’s just part of an extended group in the same way that if Tina Fey has something meaningful to say on Update, we’d welcome her. It’s the same way with Maya [as Kamala] — you saw what she brought to it.
“So, I don’t think of it that way,” the exec notes. “Beck [Bennett] will be doing Pence because he does it brilliantly. And also, you’re talking about candidates who are in their 70s. When you put someone 28 in that makeup, it just different. Jason [Sudeikis] has done [Biden] in the past.
“Part of it also is whoever does it has to basically relocate to New York because of quarantine. So, there were a lot of factors involved in that. But I’m thrilled Jim’s doing it.” Saturday Night Live Season 46 premiere is set for Saturday, October 3 at 11:30 p.m. ET on Saturdays on NBC. Check local listings for earlier air times in your time zone.