Live From New York….It’s Saturday Night Live! SNL Faces Obstacles During the Pandemic

Mary Rakowski, Staff Writer

The Presidential Debates were a subject of great discussion and even mockery by the people of the United States. SNL took the initiative to exaggerate some of the mannerisms of the respective candidates. Alec Baldwin played President Donald J. Trump, Jim Carrey played former Vice President Joe Biden, and Maya Rudolph played Senator Kamala Harris.

Everyone’s favorite comedy show is officially back after a global shut down that affected not only the entertainment industry, but every aspect of life: Saturday Night Live resumed production for its 46th season on October 3rd, 2020. Known for its live and enthusiastic audiences, SNL has encountered multiple obstacles in figuring out how to get back on the air. Now, by following CDC guidelines, producers are allowing ticketed guests with the exception that they take a mandatory COVID test when entering the studio and agree to temperature checks. The show aired live for the first time since its March 7th broadcast in New York City and was prepared for a large viewing, as it is one of the most popular comedy shows in modern day. 

In anticipation of the election on November 3rd, SNL  tried with their mock presidential debates and skits revolving around the candidates, Donald Trump and Joe Biden. However, since returning, reviews have been criticizing the show, calling the spoofs “off” and “so weak they might have been cut from stronger episodes.” This negative feedback came after writers had to make quick adjustments to the sketches in order to include jokes about the latest news, such as Trump’s own encounter with the coronavirus disease. Jim Carrey also received some negative feedback regarding his performance as Joe Biden for the first time, with comments talking about how his humor didn’t quite hit the mark or that he was acting too similarly to other roles in his career, making weird faces for the camera at spiteful moments. Alec Baldwin, who has been playing Trump for the past 4 years, showed his usual portrayal of the president, yet there were statements that he has had trouble executing his jokes, and that his impression seemed to run dry these past few weeks. For show regulars, it was quite a disappointment to see the first live episode since COVID off to a rocky start, but many can tell that the show will have time to catch back to its originally revered status as America’s hilarious favorite.