'Saturday Night Live' critics say show avoided Joe Biden, Kamala Harris in first show of 2021

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“Saturday Night Live” returned from its winter break with a slightly different approach to covering politics that many viewers immediately noticed.

After spending four years relentlessly mocking Donald Trump each week, the popular NBC sketch show did not open with an impersonation of President Joe Biden or Vice President Kamala Harris. That’s not to say that the episode shied away from politics. Its cold open skewered Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Mark Zuckerberg and Tom Brady while the show’s “Weekend Update” segment commented on the riot at the U.S. Capitol.

The show had a lot of ground to cover after being off during an eventful time in U.S. politics. January alone included the riots, a historic second impeachment of Trump and the GameStop surge that’s thrown Wall Street through a loop. Still, despite the inauguration and Biden’s first week in office also happening during the show’s break, many critics of the show noticed that “SNL” didn’t seem interested in roasting the sitting president the same way it did when Trump was in the oval.

Critics accuse ‘Saturday Night Live’ of avoiding President Joe Biden.
(Rosalind O’Connor/NBC)

“Even a Saturday Night Live is bored with Biden and didn’t mention him once!” one user wrote.

“What ..NO bashing the President on SNL?? That’s unheard of..we tolerated the weekly bashing, impersonations, disgusting Alec Baldwin & a slew of other unfunnies, denigrating President Trump..Now Biden & Harris are NEVER parodied! No skits, no impersonations..NADA!” another wrote.

“SNL can’t say anything bad about Biden.  He’s a democrat,” a third user noted.

“Why is SNL avoiding the best source of comedy by giving Joe Biden a free pass?” another user added. “Poor old Joe is an endless supply of comedy.”

“I would like to see Jim Carey again play Biden, he is funny.  Are we going to see making fun of President Biden anytime soon like when SNL made fun of Trump and other Presidents while they were in office?  A spin-off signing stacks of exec orders would be a funny piece!” another person wrote.

Although Biden has only been president for a week and the show has only premiered one episode in 2021, many seem convinced that “Saturday Night Live” will never mock Biden or Harris. However, the show was not shy about regularly parodying both politicians during the campaign. 

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Former cast member Maya Rudolph was on hand to portray Harris during sketches about the debates while the show tapped Jim Carrey to portray the then-candidate for president. In one of its final shows before going on break, Carrey revealed that he will no longer be playing Biden on “SNL,” yielding the position over to cast member Alex Moffat.

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“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,” Carrey tweeted ahead of Moffat’s debut. “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!”

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