Saturday Night Live opened its new season with a new Joe Biden — James Austin Johnson — in what was probably the highest profile introduction of a new cast member ever.
The cold open skit spoofed Biden’s attempts to secure passage of his agenda amid friction between the party’s moderate and progressive wings, with a momentary appearance by former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (Pete Davidson).
Johnson took over the role of Biden from Alex Moffat, who played the president for the second part of last season, succeeding Jim Carrey who did the impersonation for the final leg of the presidential campaign las fall.
Other SNL cast members and guests who have portrayed the former Vice President include Kevin Nealon, Jason Sudeikis, Woody Harrelson and John Mulaney.
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Johnson’s Biden is at a lectern, imitating the president’s tendency to whisper to make a point.
He then introduces the moderate Democrats, including Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), played by Cecily Strong, who says, “What do I want from this bill? I’ll never tell. I didn’t come to Congress to make friends, and so far, mission accomplished.”
Biden responds, “Is it just me or does she look like all the characters from Scooby Doo at the same time?”
Then there is Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), played by Aidy Bryant, who says, “I am a Democrat from West Virginia. If I vote for electric cars, they are going to kill me.”
On the left, Biden introduces members of the progressive caucus, including Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), played by Ego Nwodim, who says, “Thank you Joe, for not calling me Kamala.”
“For those of you who don’t know me, I was designed in a lab to give Tucker Carlson a heart attack,” she says.
There is also Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), played by Melissa Villaseñor, who says, “It’s me, the Cruella of the Met Gala. I wore the dress that said, ‘Tax the rich.’ Then spent all night partying with the rich. Oops.”
More to come.
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