As first reported by Vulture earlier this month, Canuck legend Jim Carrey will be portraying presidential candidate Joe Biden in the upcoming season of SNL, a casting decision that was met with a 50/50 split on social media, given that there are 20 current cast members as it is. (In addition to former cast members who previously portrayed Biden on the show.) In a new interview with the New York Times, though, showrunner Lorne Michaels defended the decision to cast Carrey, reiterating that his Biden impression came from a place of mutual interest. “First of all, Jim is brilliant, and he cares deeply about the country and what’s going on. He wants to have a voice in this,” Michaels explained. “Every time he’s done SNL, he’s always come through brilliantly, and I think what he will bring to this part will be stunning and possibly transcend comedy. Because we’re in a period where comedy is only part of it.”
In response to critics who said casting Carrey was unfair to SNL performers who previously played Biden, such as Jason Sudeikis, Michaels was unmoved. “I’m not turning my back on anyone. We’re just trying to put on the show that looks right, right now. People show up for each other in these moments,” he said. “If you’re so hidebound by rules or expectations that you can’t reinvent a show, then why am I there?” The new season of SNL will premiere on October 3, and we’re looking forward to seeing Carrey’s wig.