Saturday Night Live, the long-running comedy sketch show, surprised viewers this past weekend by dedicating its cold-open skit to mocking President Joe Biden’s age and apparent confusion. This is a sharp turn from the show’s usual one-sided support of the Democrat party, and a welcome change for many who have been critical of SNL’s lackluster political satire in recent years.
In the skit, actor Mikey Day delivers a spot-on impression of the 78-year-old president, complete with Biden’s distinct shuffle and stiff movements. The scene opens with Biden decorating the Oval Office for Halloween, saying, “I’m not out of breath, I’m just excited because Halloween is the greatest holiday in the world.” He attempts to climb a ladder to hang a bat decoration, but it quickly becomes clear that he is not physically capable of doing so.
The writers of the skit wasted no time in poking fun at some of Biden’s recent gaffes, with the president stating, “the world is a pretty scary place right now; war, shootings, climate change, everything, and the new Britney [Spears] book.” This nod to Biden’s frequent mix-ups and mistakes drew laughter from the audience.
However, the funniest moments came when an actor playing incoming House Speaker Mike Johnson showed up and taunted Biden, saying, “Anyway, I’m now second-in-line to replace you, so I’m excited to see more of this whole ladder thing.” This not-so-subtle jab at Biden’s age and position as the oldest president in US history had viewers laughing out loud.
The skit also made a nod to the recent news of two of Biden’s dogs biting people in the White House, with the fake president holding up a severed, bloody arm and saying, “That’s not a decoration, that’s an arm our dog Commander ripped off a Secret Service agent.”
Later on, the legendary Christopher Walken made a surprise appearance, adding to the hilarity of the skit. While the scene did take a bizarre turn towards the end, Walken’s presence kept viewers entertained until the end.
This is a clear sign of where we are at in terms of the public’s perception of Biden’s leadership. Even a show like Saturday Night Live, known for its biting political satire, is now openly mocking the president’s age and mental acuity. It’s a far cry from just a few months ago, when SNL celebrated Biden’s 100 days in office with a star-studded musical performance of “Hallelujah.”
Overall, the skit was a refreshing change from SNL’s usual one-sided agenda, and a welcome sign that the show may be willing to take on both sides of the political spectrum in the future. Whether or not this signals a new era of balanced satire for the show remains to be seen, but for now, it’s nice to see them finally taking a few jabs at the current administration.