'SNL' Adds Unprecedented Sixth Consecutive Episode to Air After Election Day

Saturday Night Live will air a new episode on Saturday, Nov. 7, just days after election day, NBC announced Thursday. It will be an unprecedented sixth consecutive weekend with a new episode from the long-running sketch comedy series. Saturday Night Live first announced plans to start Season 46 with five new episodes in a row, which was already a record.

SNL kicked off its 46th season later than usual due to the coronavirus pandemic, leaving the show without an opportunity to take a week off before the election. The consecutive episodes will continue this weekend, with singer Adele as the host and guitarist H.E.R. as the musical performer. There will be another episode on Oct. 31, but no guests have been announced yet. NBC also did not announce guests for Nov. 7. However, Jim Carrey has appeared as Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in each episode, alongside former SNL cast member Maya Rudolph as Biden's running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris. Alec Baldwin returned to play President Donald Trump.

In an interview with The New York Times before the new season began, SNL creator Lorne Michaels admitted he was not sure himself if the show could do so many new episodes in a row. "We don’t know that we’re going to be able to pull it off," Michaels, who serves as executive producer, told the Times. "We’re going to be as surprised as everyone else when it actually goes on."

The SNL set has been tightly controlled during the coronavirus pandemic, which already led to one major change this season. Country singer Morgan Wallen was scheduled to perform on Oct. 10 but was replaced by Jack White after Wallen was seen hanging out without wearing a mask the weekend before the show. The show has been allowed a minimal number of audience members, and cast members have worn masks between sketches. Everyone involved in the show is being tested for the virus, Michaels said.

Michaels' decision to cast Carrey as Biden has come under fire three weeks into the season. Although Carrey's performance was welcomed early on, others have criticized the way he portrays the former vice president. Before the season began, Michaels defended casting a non-SNL actor in the part. "Every time he’s done [SNL], he's always come through brilliantly, and I think what he will bring to this part will be stunning and possibly transcend comedy," Michaels said. "Because we’re in a period where comedy is only part of it."