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Jim Carrey as Joe Biden on SNL Isn't Going Over Well

Critics are calling it a bad choice
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 27, 2020 10:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – Jim Carrey "is one of the most gifted impressionists of his generation," writes Rob Harvilla at the Ringer. If it sounds like there's a "but" coming, you're right. Like plenty of other critics out there, Harvilla doesn't think Carrey's running impression of Joe Biden on Saturday Night Live is working. At all. The problem, he writes, is that the comedian is a little too Jim Carrey-ish for this particular role. Carrey is "one of the most overwhelming comedians of his generation," writes Harvilla. "You don't pay Jim Carrey to 'disappear' into a role; you pay him to explode that role entirely like the chestburster from Alien." And in this case, he's supposed to be portraying the calmer of our two presidential candidates. At the Daily Beast, Marlow Stern finds the choice by SNL to be "rather strange."

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If the show wanted to bring in a big name, "they perhaps could have leaned into the qualities that make Biden fodder for comedy—like the fact that he's very old and gaffe-prone, and cast, say, Mel Brooks," writes Stern. But Carrey? "He's a monkey tasked with playing a tortoise," writes Karen Valby at Vanity Fair. For a counterpoint, see a post by Mack Rawden at Cinema Blend. While Carrey's critics want to see Jason Sudeikis or Woody Harrelson back in the role, Rawden hopes Carrey continues. "He hasn't given us an all-time amazing impression, but I'm not sure that's even possible at this point in time," writes Rawden. "I want to see him continue forward, and I'd like to see how he evolves the impression over time." (Read more Jim Carrey stories.)

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