Entertainment

‘SNL’ simply launched a brand new Joe Biden and the response is blended: ‘That was the worst’


James Austin Johnson becomes the latest 'Saturday Night Live' performer to play President Joe Biden. (Photo: NBC/Twitter)

James Austin Johnson turns into the newest performer to play President Joe Biden on Saturday Evening Stay. (Photograph: NBC/Twitter)

New Biden, who dis? That is what Saturday Evening Stay followers had been asking on Twitter when the late-night comedy establishment launched yet one more new actor as President Joe Biden. As you may recall, Jason Sudeikis performed the present POTUS again in his Veep days, however then he went off to merry previous England and have become Ted Lasso. After a three-episode 2019 run by Woody Harrelson and a one-shot efficiency by John Mulaney, Jim Carrey picked up the baton through the 2020 Presidential election, ironically resigning from office simply after Biden clinched the presidency. Enter solid member Alex Moffat, who appeared poised to change into a four-term SNL president. 

However viewers tuning into the Season 47 premiere as an alternative noticed a complete new POTUS. And to say they had been confused is an understatement. As Twitter customers furiously tried to infer his identification, some even mistakenly thought that host Owen Wilson was taking a flip on the presidential podium. 

So who precisely is that this Biden? None apart from James Austin Johnson, one of many six new comedians employed as Featured Gamers this season. Funnily sufficient, the Tennessee-born comedian rose to prominence by imitating one other Oval Workplace occupant: former president, Donald Trump. In August 2020, Johnson dropped a Twitter video the place he impersonated Trump riffing on one of many central mysteries of Scooby-Doo: why Scooby himself by no means appears to really do something. 

After that “Scooby-Don” video went super-viral — and was adopted by a number of extra — Vanity Fair wasted little time labeling Johnson “the best Trump impersonator of all.” Sure, even higher than SNL‘s personal in-house Trump impersonator: Alec Baldwin, who happily retired his divisive performance final season. 

Johnson did not incorporate any Scooby-Doo references into his inaugural tackle as Biden. However he did shout-out one other childhood animated favourite — Voltron

— whereas speaking about how he meant to carry the average and progressive wings of the Democratic Occasion collectively. He additionally gave a Biden nod in Trump’s route, saying that what units him aside from his POTUS predecessor is his want to remain out of the highlight. “I’m like an oil change — you don’t think about me until you absolutely have to.”

Based mostly on the blended response to Johnson’s SNL debut, it is protected to say that he will not be named the “best Biden impersonator of all time” title within the fast future. As soon as viewers found out who he was, the takes on his efficiency had been all around the map. 

Others felt compelled to mourn Alex Moffat’s abbreviated tenure. 

However do not cry for Moffat! In any case, it’s not like he followed Beck Bennett out the Studio 8H exit door or something. Moffat stays an SNL solid member, and even appeared alongside his alternative within the chilly open as… U.S. Senate Majority Chief, Chuck Schumer. That is a job that’ll final him one other three years or one other 12 months relying on how the 2022 elections go. 

Whereas the social media jury’s nonetheless out on Johnson, that they had nothing however reward for the stylish manner that Colin Jost and Michael Che closed out the primary “Weekend Update” of the season. The duo gave the ultimate jokes of the evening to their “Update” predecessor, Norm Macdonald, who died on Sept. 14 following a private battle with cancer. (Pete Davidson additionally honored the late comedian, carrying a T-shirt with Macdonald’s face on it.) “Norm is the reason I ever wanted to host ‘Weekend Update,'” Jost remarked earlier than rolling a clip of basic Norm-isms. 

Saturday Evening Stay airs Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. on NBC and Peacock



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