So far, Jim Carrey’s take on Joe Biden on Saturday Night Live has been about as low-key as Biden himself. If you’re voting for Biden, Carrey’s impression of him may actually reflect how pro-Biden voters feel about Biden: He seems like a nice guy, and like your favorite older uncle, likely to blurt out the word “malarkey.” In the latest SNL, there was even a Biden drinking game, during which Maya Rudolph (as Kristen Welker) took a shot whenever Biden said that old-timey word for bullshit.
But. This particular sketch teased something that could have been hilarious, but then, seemed to take a step back. When Jim Carrey’s Biden started to transform into Clint Eastwood, it felt like SNL was going to give us a full-on showdown sketch in which Biden became an Eastwood-style gunslinger versus Trump as, well, a villain in a Clint Eastwood movie. In nearly all of his other SNL appearances as Biden, Carrey has been mashing-up Biden with other famous celebrities — from Jeff Goldblum to Mister Rogers — and so, it felt like, for a second, we were going to get a Clint Eastwood-meets-Biden joke.
And yet, somehow, we didn’t get “Dirty Biden.” Which, honestly seems like such a missed opportunity. It probably would have been pretty insensitive to show Biden drawing a six-shooter on Trump, and yet, this kind of thing would have been funnier than what we did get. Part of Carrey’s take on the former Vice President is that we’re kind of imagining an alternate universe version of Biden where he’s a little unhinged. What if the Clint Eastwood thing could have just gone into Biden’s mind, and we could have seen Biden fantasizing about himself starring in a series of movies called Dirty Biden.
Carrey’s Biden is funny. Of course, Alec Baldwin’s Trump is hysterical, but this time around, it seems like an over-the-top and old-timey action star like Clint Eastwood would have been the perfect cipher for Joe Biden. We needed the Dirty Biden sketch, even if Clint Eastwood is still, technically, a Republican.