Saturday Night Live Season 46 began this weekend with a parody on the first presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden. The writers made some last-minute changes to their scripts before the show began in response to President Donald Trump's positive coronavirus test. Alec Baldwin's Trump ignored the debate rules, making it impossible for Biden to get his points across.
The cold open still included the first appearance of actor Jim Carrey as the former vice president. NBC announced last month that the beloved comedy star would take over the role after Woody Harrelson played Biden last season. Jason Sudeikis previously played Biden during President Barack Obama's administration. Former SNL cast member Maya Rudolph will also continue to play Biden's running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris. Rudolph won an Emmy last month for her guest appearance on Eddie Murphy's December 2019 episode as Harris.
Rudolph made an appearance to try to bring some order to the debate. Harry Styles also made a cameo, since Biden needed a calming voice to listen to. Cecily Strong appeared as Kimberly Guilfoyle, whom Trump was listening to in a way to get himself pumped up. At one point, Biden "paused" Trump to talk directly to the American people about what could happen if karma and science "teamed up" to show how dangerous the coronavirus is. "I'm not saying I want this to happen," Biden/Carrey said. "Just imagine if it did." He also showed off his new slogan: "Make America Not Actively on Fire Again."
This weekend's episode, hosted by Chris Rock, was also the first new show filmed at Studio 8H at Rockefeller Center since early March. The last three episodes of Season 45 were SNL at Home episodes, with the cast contributing sketches from home. Executive producer Lorne Michaels worked with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office to ensure a small in-studio audience would be allowed at the tapings. Since there is also a limited time before the election, Michaels is overseeing five consecutive new SNL episodes for the first time in the show's history. There will be one new episode each weekend of October.
This season will also include three new cast members. Andre Dismukes, Punkie Johnson, and Lauren Holt made their debuts Saturday night. Dismukes was a member of the show's writing staff. "All three of [the new cast members] are people with original voices and talent. They're bringing something that we now don't have," Michaels told Vulture. He also noted that Cecily Strong would be contributing remotely from Vancouver, while Aidy Bryant may miss episodes while working on Shrill for Hulu.
Jim Carrey is crushing it as Biden right now. 💯🤣 #SNLPremiere— Dr. Stephen Strange💥✨ (@DrStrangeResist) October 4, 2020
I’m dying of laughter right now. SNL nailed it. I love Jim Carrey.October 4, 2020