Today happens to be the very last Saturday before election day 2020, so it’ll come as no surprise that “SNL” kicked off the 5th episode of Season 46 with a cold open full of jokes inspired by the final days of what has to be one of the most stressful elections in recent memory.
But it wasn’t the actual events of the week that was being parodied, it was that insane level of stress. Jim Carrey as Joe Biden read a parody of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven” that was turned into a warning about the scary possibility that 2020 could still end up like 2016 — with a Trump victory despite polls — and a popular vote loss — that would in a sane country indicate otherwise.
Unlike previous weeks, Alec Baldwin didn’t return as Donald Trump. Instead, Carrey was joined by Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton, Mikey Day as Nate Silver, Keenan Thompson and Chris Redd as Trump supporting rappers Ice Cube and Lil’ Wayne, and Beck Bennet as Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell for a joke about his recent weird hands.
Maya Rudolph also showed up to resume her portrayal of Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris (last week she portrayed debate moderator Kristen Welker).
“It’s a spooky time. Filled with demons and darkness. Also, it’s Halloween. For some Trump voters, it’s the only day they’ll wear a mask.” Carrey’s Biden said at the start of the sketch. “Do you like my decorations? I borrowed them from Melania’s Christmas display. Which reminds me. There’s another holiday right around the corner.: Election Day. If you’re like most Americans, you’re excited to vote, and very, very, very worried about the outcome. But don’t worry, they say I’m eight points ahead. Polll numbers like that can only go wrong once in a blue moon.”
Then he glanced up and saw that the moon was blue. After acknowledging that, he began to read. “Once upon a midnight dreary. While Trump retweeted QAnon theories. And rifled through his Adderall drawer. I was writing my acceptance speech when somebody stopped me with a screech. It was a knock upon my chamber door. ‘Twas someone still a little sore.
That’s when McKinnon’s Hillary Clinton came into the room.
“Quoth the Clinton Hillary: We lost before,” Carrey’s Biden said.
“I said, ‘Raven, stop being such a drag. We’ve got this one in the bag. It’s what every pundit said from shore to shore,” Carrey’s Biden continued.
“Not Michael Moore. He said voters are being undercounted in the polls. Also, even if you do win on Tuesday, the election could still be stolen from you, so,” McKinnon’s Hillary said.
Carrey’s Biden continued readin: “I said, ‘Come on! No one would dare. I’ll be sworn in fair and square. All the votes will be accounted for.”
“Just like Al Gore?” Hillary said.
“This time it’s different. I can win. The people know I have a plan, Carrey’s Biden countered.
“But your real advantage is you’re not a woman, you’re a man,” Hillary replied.
The sketch eventually concluded with “SNL” alum Maya Rudolph taking the stage as Biden’s running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris. Rudolph’s version of Harris joined in on the “Raven” parody.
“So whatever happens, America, know that we’ll be okay,” Carrey’s Biden said to start the final stretch.
“Our nation will endure,” Harris chimed in. “We will fight another day.”
“I’m sure it will be peaceful, no matter who has won,” Carrey’s Biden said, optimistically.
“Though it’s never a good sign when Walmart stops selling guns,” Harris said. “Use your voice and use your vote. Democracy will represent.”
There was a brief pause as the audience cheered that sentiment. Then Carrey delivered the finisher.
“This Daylight Savings Time, let’s gain an hour and lose a president.”
For those wondering, yes the show is sticking with last week’s near-total reboot of Carrey’s Joe Biden impression. Originally, Carrey did an exaggerated doddering-slightly-senile Joe Biden — but unfortunately for “SNL,” a whole lot of viewers really didn’t like that take, largely because of how little resemblance it had to the Biden people watched during the debates and town halls.
So last week Carrey played Biden as an amped-up oldster who, sort of like the real Biden, swaggers awkwardly and drops catch phrases with about 50/50 success. Basically, competent instead of decrepit, but kind of ridiculous, more of a surrogate for the audience dealing with Trump than an old coot.