Jim Carrey finally made his first appearance as presidential hopeful Joe Biden on Saturday Night Live—but that wasn't the only surprise the season 46 premiere had in store! Hosted by Chris Rock, the variety show returned to studio 8H after ending its last season with virtually produced episodes due to the coronavirus pandemic. While the show took an abundance of caution to ensure the performers and crew were safe, it had no impact on the comedy of the night. Of course, given the upcoming presidential election, the Saturday Night Live crew had plenty to mine from. Here are the five best moments from the season premiere!
1. The Presidential Debate Goes Off the Rails
The presidential debate between Donald Trump and Biden was one of the most talked about (and unusual) political moments in recent years. SNL topped it with Alec Baldwin once again portraying the president, who declared he was "ready to get the show on the road and off the rails." He did as promised, with Carrey's Biden barely able to get out more than "Look, here's the deal" during every debate question.
2. Chris Rock's Opening Monologue
Obviously, it's hard to host SNL post pandemic without mentioning COVID-19. Rock joked about the many nasal swabs needed to get him onto the studio 8H stage, before addressing the first responders sitting in the audience. He also reminded the audience of the importance of voting and wondered if maybe we should reevaluate that whole concept of the presidency. After all, he reminded fans, "game shows have more rules."
3. RBG Gets A Tribute On "Weekend Update"
At the end of a joke-heavy "Weekend Update" segment with Aidy Bryant's "7th grade traveler" on for commentary, historic Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on Sept. 18, received a tribute. Kate McKinnon dressed as the notorious RBG in the audience before the screen cut to a sign that read "Rest in Power."
4. Chris Rock As a "Future Ghost"
Rock's ghost from 2020 visits a kid from the year 2000, who is more interested in the fact that his Tony Hawk Pro Skater video game has way better graphics than that whole pandemic thing. Unfortunately, he didn't get to marry the "mom from Spy Kids."
5. Megan Thee Stallion Used Her Performance to Send A Message
Megan Thee Stallion never fails to deliver big with her performances, but she also had a clear message to share with the Saturday Night Live audience: "Protect Black women." The phrase could be seen in the background of her "Savage" number and later, the 25-year-old took the mic to declare it to the world, "because we need our Black women." She also called out Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron in prerecorded audio, calling him "no better than the sell out negroes that sold our people into slavery." Cameron has come under fire for his handling of the Breonna Taylor murder case.
(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)