During a reception ahead of the 44th Kennedy Center honors, Martin offered the president his acting services.

Dear Lorne Michaels: if you're still looking, you might have found the right comedian to play Joe Biden.

On Sunday, the Kennedy Center Honors returned to Washington, D.C., as an in-person event for the first time since before the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the ceremony, Biden hosted a reception in the White House to congratulate the honorees: Motown Records founder Barry GordySaturday Night Live head Lorne Michaels, Bette Midler, Joni Mitchell, and Puerto Rican opera singer Justino Diaz.

While giving kind words to Midler, Mitchell, Diaz, and Gordy about their achievements, Biden took a slightly different approach with Michaels, calling him "Mr. Wiseguy" and talking about how the SNL boss has tried out seven different comedians to parody him on the sketch series. In a video clip, Biden praised Michaels for identifying and fostering incredible talent, such as past Kennedy Center Honoree Steve Martin, who also happened to be in attendance.

Steve Martin; Joe Biden
Steve Martin asked Joe Biden if he wants him to play the president on 'Saturday Night Live."
| Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images; Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

"Do you want me to play you?" Martin asked after Biden asked him to stand so he could be acknowledged. As the room laughed, Biden was ready with his own response.

"Steve," he told the actor, "I'm afraid you understand me too well."

As Biden noted, since 1991, seven actors have parodied him over the years including Kevin Nealon, Jason Sudekieis, Woody Harrelson, Jim Carrey, Alex Moffat, John Mulaney, and new cast member James Austin Johnson (who received raves for his on-pointe performance.) But unlike Alec Baldwin's Trump or Maya Rudolph's Kamala Harris, the NBC show has come up short with a specific, regular actor to portray the world leader.

Maybe Martin can finally change that.

During the actual ceremony, Michaels' tribute was arguably the most star-studded moment of the evening, with Martin and Paul Simon giving tributes as well as past and present "Weekend Update" anchors telling jokes, including Nealon, Amy Poehler, Seth Meyers, Colin Jost, and Michael Che.

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