Lorne Michaels made a mistake bringing in Jim Carrey to play Joe Biden in the cold open political sketches on “Saturday Night Live.”
The problem is he’s a “hot” performer playing a “cool” personality. Carrey is preternaturally built for characters with kinetic energy aplenty, which does not describe the former vice president in any way.
Jason Sudeikis did a much better job earlier this year in the Democratic debate sketches, and should have been brought back for the fall, too.
To make things worse, the writing on this season’s cold opens has seemed particularly weak, as if the staff decided the mere presence of Carrey, Maya Rudolph (as Kamala Harris), and Alec Baldwin (who will finally be freed of his Trumpian obligation in a few weeks) would make things work. They should have gone back to study the political sketches Jim Downey wrote for SNL for so many years, which remain among the show’s best moments.
The good news for Carrey is that his Biden is better than Woody Harrelson’s was, but that’s not saying much.