Saturday Night Live‘s string of new episodes until the general election continued on Saturday night, and another televised presidential event gave the show an obvious entry with its cold open. This time, though, with dueling town halls on different networks, the sketch was an attempt to highlight what politically active Americans may have seen by flipping between the two events, which played out very differently on each network.
Jim Carrey was back as his energetic, aviator shades-wearing Joe Biden and Alec Baldwin was back as Trump. Maya Rudolph returned to crash Trump’s town hall as Kamala Harris, too. SNL‘s framing of the Biden town hall was that of a long-winded old man who struggled to know where people in the socially-distanced hall in Philadelphia were even asking questions from. It was a far goofier take than his policy-focused event actually was on Thursday, but the juxtaposition to Trump was an important part of the bit.
For the second week in a row, Carrey’s Biden transformed into a pop culture reference. First, he donned a sweater and pretended to be Mr. Rogers, a reference to a Trump surrogate’s tweet about the Biden event in its aftermath. The next time viewers saw him, however, he was Bob Ross, paintbrush and canvas on screen and suddenly talking about happy little trees. Trump, meanwhile, saw his back and forth with Savannah Guthrie literally turn into WrestleMania. At this rate seems clear that SNL will keep making debates and town halls its cold open until the president and vice president stop holding them. Which means we almost certainly know what the topic of next week’s cold open will be, too.