Saturday Night Live is returning to studio 8H for its 46th season, months after finishing its 45th with a series of SNL at Home episodes unlike anything in the show’s history. And in addition to figuring out how to safely produce a live show with a live audience indoors in the middle of a pandemic, the people behind the show had to answer the same questions they do every season. And in an election year, one of the biggest is who will play the politicians who are the show’s most consistent characters.
Alec Baldwin, Beck Bennett, and Maya Rudolph will return as Trump, Pence, and Harris, respectively. And Lorne Michaels revealed in a sprawling interview with Vulture that none other than Jim Carrey will round out the foursome as Joe Biden.
Michaels said that Carrey expressed interest in the role “and then we responded, obviously, positively. 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.”
Previously, Biden has been played by Woody Harrelson, Jason Sudeikis, and John Mulaney, three relatively straight men (in a comedy sense). Carrey is not that; he’s a famously spastic physical comedian whose energy at first glance doesn’t align with that of the septugenarian politician from Delaware.
But the mission of SNL’s political comedy isn’t fidelity to reality, it’s the exaggeration of it, from Will Ferrell’s frat bro W to Darrell Hammond’s drawling Clinton. And while it remains to be seen how Carrey plays Biden, there’s little reason to doubt that it will be hilarious.
Season 46 of Saturday Night Live will premiere on October 3.