When Jim Carrey was announced as the new incumbent Joe Biden on Saturday Night Live, it seemed like a hilarious choice. And to be clear, it…is. But, it’s also clear that after a couple of weeks that Carrey isn’t exactly doing a Joe Biden impression here. Instead, his Biden is a kind of chimera shapeshifter of a billion other characters that Carrey can impersonate. This weekend, that meant Carrey donned the sweater of Mister Rogers, which was great. But, things with this Biden are getting a little weird.
Last week, when Carrey did Biden, he didn’t stay in the “Biden” guise for very long either. As soon as Biden transformed into a fly (THE fly) Carrey’s Biden became Carrey’s version of Jeff Goldblum. Basically, if you were feeling nostalgic for the days that Jim Carrey was on In Living Color in the ’90s, that’s kind of what his presence on SNL is now, minus the edge. When Carrey is doing Biden, he’s really doing whatever Jim Carrey-impression seems to make sense for the moment. Last week it was a kind of weak Goldblum thing, but at least this week, the Fred Rogers nod made sense.
Though SNL didn’t reference this outright, one Trump advisor tried to negatively compare Joe Biden to Fred Rogers, which, from where I sit, is a little like trying to insult someone by comparing them to Gandhi. It was a misplaced burn that probably backfired with most people. Carrey donning the Mister Rogers sweater sort of brought it home, because then, he transitioned to pretending to be Bob Ross. For me, this timing could not have been better. My wife and I recently introduced our toddler to the calming power of Bob Ross, and if Joe Biden did turn out to be some kind of Mister Rogers+Bob Ross superbeing, that sounds pretty great.
Will Jim Carrey’s Biden impression get funnier though? Or will he need to keep morphing into other people? It all kind of depends on what happens next. It’s also not really Carrey’s fault. Alec Baldwin’s Trump is easier to laugh at because most people desperately need a laugh when it comes to that guy. But with Biden, it feels like SNL viewers — like me — are fine with the Mister Rogers sweater.