Looks like Jason Sudeikis has been voted out of Saturday Night Live’s Oval Office. SNL producers have announced that Jim Carrey will now be playing vice president-turned-presidential candidate, Joe Biden, when NBC’s late-night comedy institution returns for Season 46 on October 3.
The former In Living Color star has hosted SNL four times, most recently in 2014 — the year after Sudeikis departed the Not Ready for Primetime Players, although he reprised his Biden impression on multiple occasions, including back in February before the coronavirus pandemic forced the cast to finish the season remotely. Rest assured that the new season will be bringing it all back home to Studio 8H, albeit with new safety protocols in place.
SNL guru Lorne Michaels revealed the backstory behind the Sudeikis/Carrey switcheroo in a new interview with Vulture, suggesting it was, in part, the actor’s idea. Carrey certainly hasn’t been shy about expressing his political opinions — in fact, he’s turned them into literal art. “There was some interest on his part,” Michaels said. “And then we responded, obviously, positively. But it came down to discussions about what the take was. He and Colin Jost had a bunch of talks. He and I as well. He will give the part energy and strength, and … hopefully it’s funny.”
Twitter seems split on Biden’s makeover, with several Sudeikis stans sticking up for the former SNL mainstay, who is currently headlining the Apple TV+ series Ted Lasso.
We need Jim Carrey on TV to help us with the insanity👍
— TessLAUSKD (@LauskdTess) September 16, 2020
Also Jason Sudeikis was good as Biden. And a former cast member
— Ben Andrews (@BenAndrews21) September 16, 2020
Jim is great but I love Jason Sudeikis in that role.
— Kat (@KatBrowne1) September 16, 2020
Why though? Jason Sudekis was awesome
— thatonedrewguy (@TheDrewMusick) September 16, 2020
While Sudeikis may be out, Maya Rudolph and Alec Baldwin are continuing their terms as Senator — and Biden’s running mate — Kamala Harris and President Donald Trump respectively. Michaels confirmed their returns to Vulture, ending speculation that Baldwin may have announced his retirement on the Season 45 finale. One of those pieces of news was received more positively than the other.
I agree outsourcing beyond the cast is bad but this doesn’t explain how Alec Baldwin keeps ending up on my TV because it certainly has nothing to do with the quality of the impression https://t.co/09wD0EIOny
— Josh Billinson (@jbillinson) September 16, 2020
Enough about Jim Carrey, just excited about Maya Rudolph playing Kamala again
— allison | abolish the police (@allisonhopstad) September 16, 2020
Michaels shared some other key details about the upcoming season in his Vulture interview, noting that the production was working closely with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to determine the specific number of cast, crew and audience members that can be in Studio 8H during the live telecast. (That so-called “magic number” is something that all productions are trying to calculate as TV shows and movies return to work.) In order to be part of the election cycle, SNL will also produce five back-to-back shows for the first time in its history, with new episodes every week from October 3 to October 31. “There are four debates and then it’s Halloween, and that’s the weekend before the election,” Michaels said. “And sadly, if the election gets extended, then we’ll be doing six or seven shows in a row.”
Because of last year’s COVID-shortened season, SNL won’t be saying goodbye to any of the current cast. But a few new faces will be showing up in Studio 8H, including Punkie Johnson, Lauren Holt and Andrew Dismukes. And Michaels is doing his part to encourage the next generation of comedy stars with the launch of the SNL Scholarship Program, intended to help advance the career opportunities for comics of color. That move comes after a summer where protests over the death of George Floyd brought renewed attention to the lack of diversity on shows like Saturday Night Live. “From Minnesota on, watching that, living through that — the beginnings of the Black Lives Matter — all of it had always been under the surface, and there it sort of took center-stage, and obviously for all the best reasons,” Michaels told Vulture. “So it was officially understood as important, and time had run out on the various excuses.”
Saturday Night Live premieres on October 3 on NBC
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