Saturday Night Live decided to parody itself with the opening skit featuring Donald Trump. Now, the NBC comedy show has made no efforts to switch up the formula in this election season. Almost every single opener in season 46 has featured Jim Carrey’s Joe Biden facing off against Alec Baldwin’s now-honed version of Donald Trump. After Biden’s victory today, many wondered if the Hallelujah sketch from 2016 would make a return. Surprisingly, the writers decided to invert the idea of Kate McKinnon as Hilary Clinton singing the salad into Baldwin doing a downcast version of “Macho Man” in front of a lounge audience. It’s a swerve that seems almost obvious in hindsight. Maya Rudolph was also present as Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris, down to the specific suit she wore earlier this evening. So, in this instance, SNL got the most mileage out of poking fun at itself.
Social media has been decidedly down on Carrey’s version of Biden this whole season. Lorne Michaels found himself having to explain the choice to the viewers in a previous interview.
“There was some interest on his part. And then we responded, obviously, positively. But it came down to discussions about what the take was," the executive producer explained when asked. "He and Colin Jost had a bunch of talks. He and I as well. He will give the part energy and strength, and … [Laughs.] Hopefully it’s funny."
A couple of people had questions about how the show would go on with COVID-19 restrictions. Michaels had some comments about what SNL was going to do about that.
"We need the audience, obviously. With comedy, when you don’t hear the response, it’s just different. With the kind of comedy we do, which quite often is broad, timing gets thrown off without an audience," he elaborated. "And for me, what is most important is when you’re absolutely certain of some piece on Wednesday, and then the dress-rehearsal audience sees it on Saturday and tells you you’re wrong. . . .I think us coming back and accomplishing the show will lead to — I hate to use the word normalcy — but it’s a thing that is part of our lives coming back, in whatever form it ends up coming back. So the physical problems of doing it — number of people who can be in the studio, number of people who can be in the control room, how you separate the band so that they’re not in any jeopardy — all of those are part of the meetings we’ve been having"
Did you enjoy Saturday Night Live’s opener this week? Let us know down in the comments!