One of the most annoying things about Saturday Night Live the last several years has been its reliance on stunt-casting. Alec Baldwin as Trump, Maya Rudolph as Kamala Harris, Jim Carrey as Joe Biden… the last five years have seen a procession of celebrities dominating the cold opens, taking up the most prominent political roles on the show and hogging a spotlight that too infrequently falls on the show’s gargantuan cast.
Now that the election is over, SNL was faced with recasting our next president after Carrey decided not to return as Biden. And fortunately they didn’t go out and get another movie star or SNL alumnus to fit the bill. They actually looked inward and gave the job to a regular cast member, Alex Moffat, who’s currently in his fifth season. (That’s another curious thing about this show: up until the ‘00s five years was a good, long tenure on SNL. Now people who have been there for five years still feel kind of new, because they don’t always get a lot of air time, and because there will always be several other active cast members who have been there much longer than five years.)
I can’t say that Moffat’s debut as Biden was all that stellar. He’s fine enough—and definitely less obnoxious than Carrey was—but it comes in another limp, poorly conceived, and lazily written sketch that’s all too emblematic of the show’s political failings of the Trump era. Still, if you want to see the new/old guy at work, here’s the sketch.