The 62-year-old actor reprised his Emmy-winning parody role of Trump for a spoof of Tuesday night’s first presidential debate of 2020. The sketch on Saturday kicked off the new season in a cold open, which came one day after the real-life POTUS revealed to the public that both he and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive for COVID-19.
Prior to the show, Baldwin shared a photo of himself looking lethargic backstage at “SNL” while wearing a protective mask in his full Trump getup.
“Tonight at 11:30 eastern @nbcsnl,” he captioned the image.
Baldwin was joined by fellow celebrity Jim Carrey, who took on the role of Joe Biden for the debate sketch, marking the first time the long-running show has returned to the studio since the coronavirus pandemic shut down production while the show was still in the middle of its 45th season.
The two stars appeared on stage together to spoof the chaotic debate, with Baldwin’s Trump routinely interrupting Carrey’s Biden, as well as moderator Chris Wallace, played by cast member Beck Bennett. In addition to mocking the duo’s respective debate performances, they also made reference to the president’s positive COVID-19 diagnosis, with Baldwin, as Trump, making comments about the pandemic and then noting that he hopes those comments don’t come back to haunt him later in the week.
Carrey’s Biden, meanwhile, looked directly to the camera to close out the sketch by noting: “You can trust me because I believe in science and karma. Now, just imagine if science and karma could somehow team up and send us all a message about how dangerous this virus can be. I’m not saying I want it to happen. Just imagine if it did.”
In addition to the show returning to the studio, the Season 46 premiere marked the first time that a live studio audience was allowed to attend a taping of the show since the onset of the pandemic. However, doing so raised concerns that the NBC comedy may not be in compliance with New York City COVID-19 guidelines by doing so.
On Thursday, a source connected to “SNL” told Fox News the show is “working very closely with the Department of Health and following all of their guidelines.”
Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live.”
Studio guests are required to both wear an approved mask and take a mandatory COVID-19 test upon arrival. The test was self-administered and could yield results in time for the show. As an extra precaution, temperature checks were also be required at check-in, according to the ticket website. If anyone had a temperature higher than 100.4 they and their party were not allowed in.