Jim Carrey has been cast as Saturday Night Live's new Joe Biden, NBC announced on Wednesday. In a press release, the network confirmed that Carrey would take over the role of the Democratic nominee for the rest of the 2020 presidential election. That should still give him plenty of time to show off his impression, as SNL will have five consecutive shows in October.
SNL Season 46 kicks off on Saturday, Oct. 3, and continues without a break for the rest of the month. The show will reportedly film in the studio, with coronavirus safety measures in place and a limited studio audience. The most significant announcement, of course, was the addition of Carrey as the Democratic frontrunner. He is taking over for previous guest star Woody Harrelson, who played Biden last year.
Along with Carrey comes comedian Maya Rudolph, reprising her role as Sen. Kamala Harris — Biden's running mate for vice president. Alec Baldwin will also return as President Donald Trump. SNL creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels previously mentioned casting Carrey in an interview with Vulture.
"There was some interest on his part. And, then, we responded, obviously, positively," he said. "But, it came down to discussions about what the take was. He and 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."
Harrelson's impression of Biden was generally understated, with an emphasis on his rambling tangents in speeches and debates. He was given jokes ripped from the headlines, concerning Biden's alleged sexual harassment of women throughout the years and his sometimes outdated commentary on race and identity.
However, SNL fans may remember the previous Biden impersonator better: Jason Sudeikis. Sudeikis played a loud, gregarious version of Biden in both the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections. So far, fans can only speculate about which direction Carrey will go with the impression.
SNL is working with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office to ensure that its live studio audience arrangement is safe and approved, both for the audience and the cast and crew. The show is adding three new featured players to its cast: UCB's Lauren Holt, writer and comedian Punkie Johnson and SNL staff writer Andrew Dismukes. The new season premieres on Saturday, Oct. 3 at 11:30 p.m. ET on NBC.