How Saturday Night Live Got Jim Carrey To Play Joe Biden For New Season

jim carrey saturday night live sketch screenshot

NBC is bringing Saturday Night Live back for Season 46 in a matter of weeks, and a slew of new announcements about the upcoming season should leave fans more excited than ever for the cast to return to the studio full-time. Among the announcements is that none other than Jim Carrey will tackle the role of Vice President Joe Biden for the new season.

Vice President Joe Biden, who is currently running for President of the United States as the Democratic nominee, was previously played on Saturday Night Live by Jason Sudeikis. Although Sudeikis (also known for punching Baby Yoda) left SNL as a full-time cast member back in 2013, many viewers likely expected that he would continue to reprise his role as Joe Biden in fall 2020. So, how did the long-running comedy show land a big name like Jim Carrey?

Creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels shared that Jim Carrey will play Joe Biden in a chat with Vulture, while also confirming that Alec Baldwin will be back in his Emmy-winning role as Donald Trump and Maya Rudolph (who is also a former SNL cast member) will be back as Kamala Harris. Michaels explained how Carrey ultimately landed the role of Biden, saying:

There was some interest on his part. 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 … [Laughs.] Hopefully it’s funny.

According to Lorne Michaels, Jim Carrey was the one who was interested in playing Joe Biden on Saturday Night Live! After some talks between Carrey and Michaels as well as between Carrey and co-head writer Colin Jost, Carrey is on board. He may not have been cast in Saturday Night Live when he originally auditioned for the 1980-1981 season, but now he has what is sure to be a memorable role. Besides, he has appeared on and hosted SNL multiple times throughout his career.

Depending on the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, Jim Carrey also has the potential to play Joe Biden on SNL for years to come. Alec Baldwin began playing Donald Trump ahead of the 2016 presidential election, and has gone on to reprise that role multiple times over the years since. If Biden is elected president, Carrey could have some steady work opportunities on NBC! The same is true for Maya Rudolph as Kamala Harris, with Harris as Biden's running mate.

The addition of Jim Carrey isn't the only big news on the Saturday Night Live front. SNL will start Season 46 with five consecutive shows, premiering on October 3 and running through October 31. Could we see more David S. Pumpkins?

While SNL went virtual for its broadcasts earlier this year after production shutdowns throughout the entertainment industry, the return for Season 46 is planning on a limited in-studio audience, with the plan to work closely with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's team regarding safety protocols.

SNL has also added three new featured players to the cast for Season 46. Andrew Dismukes has served as a staff writer at Saturday Night Live since Season 43, and his work as a stand-up comedian combined with his SNL experience could make him an ideal addition to the ensemble. Actor, comedian, and improviser Lauren Holt joins SNL as well, and brings experience from web series and a critically-acclaimed short film to the show. The third newcomer is comedian and writer Punkie Johnson, who has appeared on projects including Space Force, Adam Ruins Everything, and Corporate.

See Jim Carrey as Joe Biden in Season 46 of Saturday Night Live, along with Maya Rudolph, Alec Baldwin, the three newcomers, and more. SNL returns to NBC on Saturday, October 3. For some additional upcoming viewing options, be sure to check out our 2020 fall TV premiere schedule.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).