The Saturday Night Live cast member made a memorable entrance as the president-elect.

By Jillian Sederholm
December 20, 2020 at 10:15 AM EST
Credit: Will Heath/NBC

Saturday Night Live has elected a new Joe Biden.

On SNL's final episode of 2020, cast member Alex Moffat made his debut as President-elect Biden, replacing Jim Carrey who'd announced earlier in the day that he would not be returning to the role.

Moffat's Biden somersaulted his way into the show Willy Wonka-style on Saturday night, appearing alongside Maya Rudolph as Kamala Harris and Beck Bennett as Vice President Mike Pence in a Cold Open focused on the COVID-19 vaccine.

The show winked at the casting change-up during the sketch. "Joe, you look different somehow," Bennet's Pence notices. "Yep, I’m like Colonel Sanders," Moffat's Biden replies. "Every time you see me, I’m a different guy. There’s a good chance that this time next year, I’m going to be Mario Lopez."

Moffat joined SNL at the start of season 42 in 2016, and quickly established himself as a key player with notable impressions of Eric Trump, Joe Scarborough, Prince William, and Chuck Schumer, and his recurring Weekend Update character, Guy Who Just Bought a Boat. His showing as Biden, albeit brief and fairly understated, served as a welcome reprieve for fans who had become weary of the previous take.

After the initial excitement over Carrey's casting, many fans and critics were vocal about their distaste for the comedian's impression. Carrey portrayed the mostly low-key Biden with a manic approach better fit for, well, a Jim Carrey character. Some fans, including EW's resident SNL recapper, took to referring to the impression as "Fire Marshall Biden," in reference to Carrey's chaotic In Living Color character Fire Marshall Bill.

Carrey had embodied Biden since the start of season 46, taking over from Woody Harrelson, who played the presidential hopeful the previous season, and Jason Sudeikis, who portrayed the vice president throughout the Obama administration and popped up a handful of times in recent years to revive the role. John Mulaney also took a turn playing Biden in a February 2020 episode he hosted. And Kevin Nealon played then-Senator Biden in a 1991 sketch about the Clarence Thomas hearings.

In a tweet announcing his departure, Carrey wrote: "Though my term was only meant to be 6 weeks, I was thrilled to be elected as your SNL President...comedy’s highest call of duty. I would love to go forward knowing that Biden was the victor because I nailed that s---. But I am just one in a long line of proud, fighting SNL Bidens!"

Watch Carrey's final showing as Biden below.

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Saturday Night Live

The original late-night comedy sketch show from the one and only Lorne Michaels.

  • TV Show
  • 46
  • TV-14
  • Saturdays at 11:30 PM
  • Lorne Michaels
  • NBC
stream service