Let’s be real, America. You know how you’re voting in this election. The rallies, the debates, the town halls… it’s all just theater for your social media feed. This cold open about Thursday’s dueling Donald Trump and Joe Biden town halls is Saturday Night Live‘s bid to participate in that theater.
It’s fine. Jim Carrey’s Biden and Alec Baldwin’s Trump parody their real-life counterparts in safe, familiar ways. Ha, there’s “Joe” wearing a Mr. Rogers vest. Lol, and there goes Trump doing his not-quite-denunciation of hatemongers and conspiracy theorists again. What a rascal.
Does watching this make you feel anything? Is there even anything left to feel? The real town hall duel happened because the debate got cancelled. Why was that? The sitting president refused to get himself tested for a contagious, deadly illness before sharing the stage with his opponent.
We’re through the looking glass here. If this SNL cold open feels like it’s out of juice, that’s probably because there’s nothing left to feel as we march ever-forward toward the inevitability of Election Day. You’re either supporting a narcissistic maniac who has plunged the country into crisis again and again and ruined our credibility on the world stage, likely for generations… or you’re nursing the trauma of witnessing all of that over the past four years, powerless to do anything about it, and just waiting, hoping, screaming for it to be over.