Why Jim Carrey’s Joe Biden Impression on ‘SNL’ Didn’t Work, According to Reddit

‘It felt like Jim Carrey as ‘The Mask’ playing Clint Eastwood playing Joe Biden’
Why Jim Carrey’s Joe Biden Impression on ‘SNL’ Didn’t Work, According to Reddit

It was considered quite a coup for Saturday Night Live in 2019 when it announced who it had landed to impersonate Presidential front-runner Joe Biden. Sure, Alec Baldwin was a big star, certainly a bigger get than Darrell Hammond or Taran Killam, so he brought some celebrity juice to the political sketches. But even Baldwin was never as big a movie star as Jim Carrey, the rubber-faced comic and impressive mimic who stepped in to portray Biden. 

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It didn’t last long. Six episodes in, Carrey left the gig via his now-deleted Twitter account: “Though my term was only meant to be 6 weeks, I was thrilled to be elected as your SNL President…comedy’s highest call of duty. I would love to go forward knowing that Biden was the victor because I nailed that s***. But I am just one in a long line of proud, fighting SNL Bidens!”

But did he nail that shit? A Los Angeles Times headline read, “SNL Fans Deserve Better Than Four Years of Jim Carrey’s Joe Biden.” Reddit user u/HopScotchyScotch started a thread in the r/LiveFromNewYork subreddit declaring that while it wasn't terrible, Carrey’s impression “never felt right I guess for me.” So the question was raised: “Why do you think Jim Carrey’s Joe Biden didn’t work out?” Here are some of the most popular responses:

u/Jasminewindsong2 thought the impression “felt more like Jim Carrey than Joe Biden.” u/Liverpool510 took it one step further: “It felt like Jim Carrey as The Mask playing Clint Eastwood playing Joe Biden.”

Even though Carrey only lasted six episodes, u/TN232323 couldn’t believe SNL stuck with Carrey as long as they did. “The first time I saw JAJ (James Austin Johnson) I thought oh my god so many wasted years.”

For u/danegermaine99, the best Biden was Woody Harrelson. “Not because of his impression but because he had the best Biden line: ‘I’m like plastic straws. I’ve been around forever, I’ve always worked, and now you’re mad at me?’”

u/MattyBeatz also gave Jason Sudeikis props for his Biden when he was vice president under Obama, calling it “fun because it was just loud and charismatic.”

We’ll let u/DC_Coach have the last word: “Carrey is a legend, but most of that is built on his balls-to-the-wall batshite characters (Fire Marshall Bill, Ace Ventura, Mask, etc., etc.). You'd rarely say that Carrey disappears into his character (caveat: I've not seen his Kaufman movie, but I've heard very good things about it in that regard, so that could be the exception that proves the rule).

"Impressions, however, are a different thing entirely. Dana Carvey never did/does 100 percent accurate impressions, I suppose because they wouldn't be nearly as funny - he always throws some kind of a kink or curve ball into the impression (Perot: Can I finish?)... but, his impressions are unique unto themselves, Carvey himself doesn't outshine the gimmick. I think with Carrey, maybe he does outshine whatever he's trying to do with an impression.”

In other words? Too much Carrey, not enough Biden.

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