‘Saturday Night Live’: How Twitter Reacted to the Season 46 Opener and the Biden-Trump Debate Sketch

After the U.S. presidential debate this past week, Americans couldn’t wait to see how Saturday Night Live handled the controversial televised event. For their season 46 opener, SNL got world-renowned comedian Jim Carrey to play former Vice President Joe Biden and brought back movie star Alec Baldwin to play President Donald J. Trump. How did Saturday Night Live viewers on Twitter respond to the “First Debate” Cold Open?

The ‘Saturday Night Live’ debate between Biden and Trump: how did Jim Carrey and Alec Baldwin do, according to Twitter?

Saturday Night Live Season 46 cast members Maya Rudolph and Jim Carrey
The “Chris Rock” episode of Saturday Night Live with Maya Rudolph as Kamala Harris and Jim Carrey as Joe Biden during the “First Debate” sketch on Oct. 3, 2020 | Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Most tweeters were impressed with Carrey’s Biden impression on the new SNL episode — his facial expressions and vocal intonations imitating Biden were right on cue. But Twitter was pretty mixed in their reaction to the episode as a whole. While some tweeters seemed to enjoy the “Debate” sketch, others found it a bit more painful to watch than the actual Presidential debate.

Seth Simons, a writer on all things comedy, dunked on Saturday Night Live head writer Colin Jost on Twitter while the new episode was airing. Simons retweeted a video from SNL’s Cold Open, in which Maya Rudolph, playing VP pick Kamala Harris, called for a “woman as President,” a fairly clunky reference to the 2020 Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B song “WAP.”

“For no particular reason I’m thinking of the bit in Jost’s memoir where he says the Harvard Lampoon is one of the few clubs at Harvard that’s ‘entirely merit-based,'” Simons tweeted, a not-so-subtle jab at Jost’s comedy-writing skills.

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He also criticized the way SNL set up their in-studio audience.

“I’m watching the episode now and it is … wild they put first responders in the front section and didn’t distance them. What on earth,” Simons added on Twitter.

What did ‘Saturday Night Live’ viewers think of the RBG tribute?

Another Twitter user responded to the end of “Weekend Update,” in which Kate McKinnon, dressed as the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, sat in the audience and put her hand on her chest, nodding to the camera. The Saturday Night Live episode then cut to an image including the phrase “Rest in Power.”

“I can’t get over how weird this is,” the tweeter wrote. As other commenters pointed out, the NBC sketch show was using a phrase (“Rest in Power”) normally reserved for activists — not someone who was a member of one of the most powerful institutions in the country.

Not to mention: Ginsburg was Jewish. The more appropriate words for a Jewish person who has passed are “may his/her memory be a blessing.”

The ‘SNL’ ‘Weekend Update’ segment also disappointed Twitter users

SNL Weekend Update Colin Jost and Michael Che
Colin Jost and anchor Michael Che during “Weekend Update” on Oct. 3, 2020 | Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

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Comedian/writer Ashely Ray also tweeted about the SNL season opener, specifically commenting on the “Weekend Update” segment.

” … NO ONE out there actually enjoys Jost and Che as ‘Weekend Update’ hosts right?” she wrote on Twitter. Ray compared the current co-hosts to past “Weekend Update” anchors, who motivated several young, funny people to get into the comedy game.

“They’re not inspiring nerdy teens to take up comedy like Fey and Fallon or Fallon and Poehler or MacDonald,” she explained. Several of her commenters agreed with Ray’s sentiment. The comedian seemed to agree with Simons on head-writer Jost’s sense of humor, tweeting:

… I used to PRINT OUT weekend update scripts when Tina and Jimmy did it and practice reading the jokes. Who is out there feeling this inspired over Colin Jost? ‘Weekend Update’ was the part I looked forward to the most and now I’m mostly like, ‘OK fine.’