Thursday was originally scheduled to be the second face-to-face presidential debate, conducted town-hall-style. But after organizers said it would be done remotely out of health concerns, when the president, 74, was hospitalized with the novel coronavirus, he balked and the debate was canceled. Biden, 77, instead agreed to a town hall with ABC News, and days later, Trump scheduled a similar format with NBC.
On Saturday, Jim Carrey portrayed the democratic presidential nominee for the third week in a row while Alec Baldwin was back to play the president. "On Thursday, Vice President Biden held a town hall as scheduled on ABC. At the same time, NBC laid a thirst trap for President Trump. One town hall was a thoughtful, cogent discussion of the issues facing our country. The other featured President Trump," the cold open said before airing both town hall events.
For the Philadelphia recreation, Mikey Day portrayed ABC News' George Stephanopoulos, who likened the former vice president's gathering as a "poorly attended college lecture."
Meanwhile, Kate McKinnon played "surprise badass" Savannah Guthrie in Miami to speak with Baldwin's Trump, who said the town hall was just a preview of what to expect when crazy uncles gather for Thanksgiving next month.
A post shared by Saturday Night Live (@nbcsnl) on Oct 17, 2020 at 9:20pm PDT
Trump's town hall began with a back-and-forth about his recent coronavirus infection and hospitalization in which he admitted he did not know the last time he tested negative before he got sick, even as he attended multiple campaign rallies with large groups. The Today show anchor also repeatedly pressed the president on his false or misleading answers and followed up with questions.
"I never died or saw hell or the devil — he never showed me a list of my sins. I was just alive and strong the whole time," Baldwin's Trump said on SNL, even telling McKinnon's Guthrie that "there are so many COVIDs: COVID-12, COVID-14."
Baldwin's Trump also took questions from the Miami audience, even from Chloe Fineman who portrayed the viral town hall voter who complimented the president's "beautiful smile." Meanwhile, Maya Rudolph reprised her role as Sen. Kamala Harris to confront the "nodding lady," played by Ego Nwodim, the Black woman sitting behind Trump during the event.
Meanwhile, Carrey's Biden was boring the socially-distanced audience, eventually putting on a sweater similar to Mr. Rogers -- the beloved TV star whom Mercedes Schlapp, a top staffer from Trump's campaign, compared Biden to.
Carrey's Biden even took on Bob Ross's calming demeanor, picking up a paintbrush. On the other hand, Baldwin's Trump and McKinnon's Guthrie likened their Miami meeting to WWE's Wrestlemania with the NBC host taking a folding chair to the commander-in-chief.
In the end, Carrey's Biden vowed to "restore sanity to the nation" and Baldwin's Trump screamed: "Just try and take me alive!"