The Season 47 premiere opened with new cast member James Austin Johnson in the coveted role of POTUS. He appeared alongside veteran cast members Cecily Strong (as Sen. Kyrsten Sinema), Aidy Bryant (as Sen. Joe Manchin), Ego Nwodim (as Rep. Ilhan Omar), Melissa Villaseñor (as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez), Pete Davidson (as former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo) and Alex Moffat (as Sen. Chuck Schumer) in a sketch discussing the hotly debated infrastructure bill.
“How was everybody’s summer? Mine was bad,” Biden began. “Not Cuomo bad, but definitely not Afghanistan good. Everyone keeps razzing me about that drone strike, but on the bright side, I went the entire summer without falling down the stairs once.
“Broadway’s back!” he continued. “That’s exciting, right? So is the Taliban. So, win some, lose some.”
Biden also pointed out just how infrequently he’s been seen in public — which may or may not have also been a reference to how few Biden sketches SNL has done since the presidential election.
“Unlike our last president, I try to stay out of the limelight,” he said. “Like an oil change, you try not to think of me until you absolutely have to.”
Johnson succeeds Moffat as Biden, after Moffat’s two appearances as the former VP during Season 46. Moffat had taken over the role from Jim Carrey, who played Biden through last November’s election.
As previously reported, both Bennett and Lauren Holt departed SNL ahead of Season 47. To help fill the void, late-night sketch series is introducing three new featured players: Johnson, Aristotle Athari and Sarah Sherman.
What did you think of the SNL‘s newest Biden impersonator? Grade Johnson’s debut via the following poll (along with the episode as a whole), then drop a comment with your full review.