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Is There a New ‘SNL’ Episode Airing This Week?

The Wrap Friday, 16 October 2020
Is There a New ‘SNL’ Episode Airing This Week?“SNL” is back, now in it’s 46th season. The most recent new episode, which aired on October 10, was hosted by Bill Burr, with Jack White as the musical guest. The cold open in this episode was a parody of the vice presidential debate that featured Mara Rudolph as Kamala Harris, “SNL” regular Beck Bennett as Mike Pence — and Jim Carrey playing Joe Biden, who transformed on stage into the fly that landed on Pence’s head during the debate in real life.

While Carrey was there last week, Alec Baldwin was not. Baldwin is once again playing Donald Trump in season 46 of “SNL.” This is the fifth season in which Baldwin will play Trump. In season 45 he made eight total appearances across the 18 episodes of the shortened season — including in two of the three quarantine episodes.

Baldwin did appear in the season premiere, which was a parody of the presidential debate between Biden and Trump. It’s probably safe to expect at least one of those three to pop up in every new “SNL” episode before the election on Nov. 3.

*Also Read:* 'SNL': Michael Che Says 'There's a Lot Funny About' Trump Getting COVID-19 (Video)

This week, on Saturday, October 17, *there WILL be a new episode of “SNL.”* This week’s episode will be hosted by Issa Rae, with Justin Bieber as the musical guest. This will be the first “SNL” appearance for Issa Rae, and for Beiber it will be his four appearance as musical guest on “SNL” and sixth appearance overall.

You can be pretty sure this season of “SNL” be very political for the full stretch. This is an election year, and an impossibly hectic one at that, so it’s been hard for any of us to think about anything other than politics. The premiere episode came out hard in that regard, with the debate cold open, a very political monologue from Chris Rock, and a stunned discussion of Trump’s COVID-19 infection from Michael Che on Weekend Update.

“SNL” tried to drift away from that political focus during season 44, but certainly didn’t shy away from politics in season 45 — a season in which the actual Elizabeth Warren popped up to play herself in a sketch.

*Also Read:* 'SNL': Chris Rock Jokes His 'Heart Goes Out to COVID' Because It's Stuck With Trump (Video)

The renewed focus on politics in season 45 was not just about mocking Trump, but also lampooning the circus that was the run up to the Democratic primaries. Not that the sketch show has in any way shied away from mocking Trump. The impeachment has certainly been a common topic for cold open sketches this season.

There was the one where Baldwin’s Trump went through his contacts list trying to find a fixer who could make the impeachment stop, ending with a call to Liev Schreiber playing himself — Trump thought his character Ray Donovan, a fixer on the eponymous Showtime series, was actually a real person.

There was also that one where “SNL” sent up the impeachment hearings by doing a “Days of Our Lives” parody that starred Jon Hamm.

*Also Read:* 'SNL': Debate Parody Cold Open Mostly Ignores Trump's COVID-19 Diagnosis (Video)

As for the madness with the Democratic primary, we had numerous big cameos in the debate sketches in season 45. The show tried out multiple different Joe Bidens last year, with Woody Harrelson taking up the role a couple times and Jason Sudeikis giving it a shot as well.

They also brought in many other celebs to play other candidates in the Dem primary, including Lin-Manuel Miranda as Julian Castro, Larry David as Bernie Sanders, Rachel Dratch as Amy Klobuchar, Fred Armisen as Michael Bloomberg, and Will Ferrell as Tom Steyer. Maya Rudolph also played Kamala Harris a few times, and it was only natural that they’d keep her around for season 46.

That’s a lot of cameos, and “SNL” actually managed to jam nearly all of those folks into a single sketch — a 12-minute debate parody from a late November episode. Miranda did not appear in that one, but he had previously popped up as Castro in October in a parody of the Democrats’ LGBTQ town hall that was moderated by Billy Porter in character as himself.
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