The season premiere of the long-running sketch comedy show began with James Austin Johnson, one of the new featured “SNL” cast members, taking on the commander in chief attempting to broker peace amid the in-party fighting over the infrastructure and Democrat spending bills. Much of the mockery was distributed away from the president and towards several Democrats including moderate Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, progressive Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and even ex-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Saturday marked 255 days since Biden’s inauguration, ending a nearly nine-month span where “Saturday Night Live” completely avoided mocked the new president in their cold open.
Cast member Alex Moffat made a cameo appearance as Biden in a mid-show sketch in March primarily focused on Vice President Harris (played by Maya Rudolph). Moffat had previously taken over the role in December from Jim Carrey, who played the Democrat in the final weeks of the 2020 presidential election.
“SNL” had performers impersonating George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama in the first episodes following their inaugurations. The episode following Donald Trump’s inauguration instead featured an “address” from Russian President Vladimir Putin played by cast member Beck Bennett, who has since left the show.
Alec Baldwin famously played the 45th president during the 2016 presidential election and through the Trump presidency, making his official debut as the president the week after.
“SNL” has long been known for comedically targeting the commander in chief going back to Chevy Chase impersonating Gerald Ford. In recent years, “SNL” touted Phil Hartman and Darrell Hammond as Clinton, Will Ferrell as Bush 43, Fred Armisen and Jay Pharoah as Obama, and Baldwin as Trump.