SNL‘s final pre-election cold open was once again political in nature, but with no debates to skewer and just days before voting ends, the show elected to let Jim Carrey’s Joe Biden tell a spooky story about polling errors. Saturday’s John Mulaney-hosted episode didn’t feature Alec Baldwin’s Trump, but the ghosts of his surprise victory in the 2016 election over Hillary Clinton remained.
“Good evening, America. It’s a spooky time filled with demons and darkness,” Carrey’s Biden said. “Also, it’s Halloween. For some Trump voters, it’s the only day they’ll wear a mask.”
The sketch is a parody of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven,” a lyrical breakdown of what’s coming in the days ahead featuring Kate McKinnon’s Hillary Clinton and a warning that, despite Biden’s promising poll numbers in the days before an election with a startling lack of undecided voters up for grabs, things could still go wrong for Biden like they did for Clinton four years ago.
“They say I’m eight points ahead. Poll numbers like that only go wrong once in a blue moon,” Carrey’s Biden said before a blue moon was shown in the sky outside.
The show even brought out a pollster, Nate Silver, to riff on what happened in 2016. The sketch also featured Maya Rudolph’s Kamala Harris, an appearance by Mitch McConnell’s purple hands and Carrey putting on Biden’s signature aviators because, well, of course. With election day days away and another new SNL coming on Saturday, the hope is that something much more concrete will be the focus of the next cold open. Because in this one, all anyone could really focus on was fear.