Last night’s cold open featured Alec Baldwin reprising his role as Trump and Jim Carrey stepping in as the show’s new Joe Biden.
The season premiere of Saturday Night Live was one of the program’s most overtly political installments of the show to date.
Even before Chris Rock took the stage as host to deliver a hard-hitting opening monologue, the show’s tone was set by a cold open that attempted to recreate the chaos of President Trump and Joe Biden’s first debate on Tuesday. The segment featured Alec Baldwin reprising his longstanding role as Trump and Jim Carrey debuting a wiry take on the former Vice President, as well as Maya Rudolph returning as prospective VP, Kamala Harris (a role she took home her first of two Emmys for last month,) who stepped in towards the end to break up their petulant squabbling, promising them PB & J sandwiches if they behaved. When it finally came to the closing remarks, Carrey’s Biden literally paused the president with a handy remote control, taking a moment to soak in the peace, address the audience directly, and “bask in the Trumplessness.” The political edge carried well into the show, from Rock’s monologue to musical guest Megan Thee Stallion’s performance of “Savage,” where the Houston rapper spoke directly to the need for protecting black lives.
Last night’s season 46 premiere marked Saturday Night Live’s return to Studio 8H after closing last season in an at-home quarantine format. According to Vulture, the show enacted a strict COVID-19 protocol in order to host an in-studio audience, limiting the capacity of the crowd (with priority given to essential and frontline healthcare workers,) mandating tests for the virus and temperature checks upon entry, and requiring everyone to wear masks at all times while in the building.
Watch Saturday Night Live‘s cold open above. Hold tight for next week’s episode with Bill Burr as host and Justin Bieber as the musical guest.