‘Saturday Night Live’ Returns With a New President Biden

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It’s a new season at “Saturday Night Live,” which implies new cast members — and, surprisingly, a new performer taking part in President Biden in his first episode on the show.

You could recall, “S.N.L.” didn’t have the best time discovering a Biden impersonator last season: it relied on visitor star Jim Carrey to fill that position during the 2020 presidential election, but to no nice impact, and Carrey announced he was leaving the show after a deliberate six weeks.

The mantle was then handed to cast member Alex Moffat, who appeared as Biden only intermittently during the remainder of the season, prompting some criticism that “S.N.L.” was pulling its punches on the forty sixth president.

Enter new cast member James Austin Johnson, a comic whose hiring as an “S.N.L.” featured participant was introduced this past Monday, and who was maybe higher known for viral movies in which he impersonated former president Donald J. Trump.

Most “S.N.L.” rookies can anticipate, at best, a single line of their debut appearances. But there was Johnson, entrance and middle within the show’s chilly open this weekend, taking part in President Biden as he caught up with the nation on recent occasions and tried to get Democrats to come back to an settlement on his home agenda.

“What’s cooking?” Johnson requested. “What’s good? How was everybody’s summer? Mine was bad. Not Cuomo bad but definitely not Afghanistan good.”

Johnson continued, “Everyone keeps razzing me about that drone strike. But on the bright side, I went the entire summer without falling down the stairs once.”

He added, “And hey, Broadway’s back. That’s exciting, right? So is the Taliban. So, win some, lose some.”

The opening sketch also shone a highlight on some “S.N.L.” veterans who were weren’t certain in the event that they’d return to the show this yr, together with Cecily Strong, who appeared as Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.

“What do I want from this bill?” Strong requested. “I’ll never tell. ‘Cause I didn’t come to Congress to make friends. And so far, mission accomplished.”

Aidy Bryant, one other cast member whose return to the show was unsure, appeared as Senator Joe Manchin: “I’m a Democrat from West Virginia,” she said. “If I vote for electric cars, they’re going to kill me.”

Ego Nwodim performed Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota (“Thank you, Joe, for not calling me Kamala”) and Melissa Villaseñor performed New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who recognized herself as “the Cruella of the Met Gala.”

Villaseñor said, “I wore a dress that said ‘Tax the Rich.’ Then spent all night partying with the rich. Oops.”

Pete Davidson was again as New York’s ex-Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, making an attempt to make peace inside the Democratic Party: “We’re like one big Italian family,” Davidson said. “And you know what Italians like to do? Hug, and kiss and run their fingers up each other’s backs.”

And for good measure, Moffat turned up on this sketch, too — this time in his recurring position as Senator Chuck Schumer of New York. “You may remember me,” he said. “But you don’t.”

We’re not solely certain why this segment spoofing Jeff Bezos’s summer season sojourn into the close to reaches of area needed to be framed as a sendup of “Star Trek.” But it did give visitor host Owen Wilson excuse to play a very reckless, cowboy-hatted Bezos, alongside his actual life brother Luke Wilson, who appeared as Bezos’s youthful brother and fellow astronaut Mark Bezos.

Mikey Day turned up to play one-time “S.N.L.” host Elon Musk and ship this ultimatum: “Space is only big enough for one weird white billionaire. So you could say beating you is my prime objective.”

Over on the Weekend Update desk, the anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che riffed on the start of the new season and President Biden’s stalled infrastructure invoice.

The last time Davidson appeared on the Weekend Update desk in May, he appeared to be saying goodbye to “S.N.L.” solely, telling viewers, “It’s been an honor to grow up in front of you guys, so thanks.”

But no: He was again this season and again on Weekend Update, principally to make enjoyable of his own apparel on the Met Gala in September. (“I look like James Bond at his quinceañera.” “I look like if one of the three blind mice sold fentanyl.” “I look like Tilda Swinton on casual Friday.”)

As if to verify that we hadn’t hallucinated his last monologue, Davidson concluded this one by shouting out, “I can’t believe I’m back!”

Weekend Update was also where “S.N.L.” paid tribute this week to Norm Macdonald, the segment’s former anchor (from 1994 to 1997), who died last month on the age of 61. Jost said that Macdonald “is the reason that I ever wanted to do Weekend Update,” then launched a set of clips of Macdonald delivering some of his past Weekend Update jokes, together with:

  • “At the White House this week, President Clinton officially came out against same-sex marriages. What’s more, the president said he is not too crazy about opposite-sex marriages either.”

  • “In a brilliant movie during closing arguments, Simpson attorney Johnnie Cochran put on the knit cap prosecutors say O.J. wore on the night of the murders. Although O.J. may have hurt his case when he suddenly blurted out, ‘Hey, hey, easy with that. That’s my lucky stabbing hat.’”

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