Since joining SNL in 2021, James Austin Johnson hasn’t only done a top shelf Donald Trump. He’s done a very good Joe Biden as well. He captures the current president’s endearing aloofness quite well, as though everything is a surprise. Alas, barring some miracle, it looks like the 2024 election will be a rematch between he and the guy he crushed spectacularly. So for the third episode of the new season, SNL opened with a new Joe.
That would be Mikey Day, who leans hard into Biden’s age. In the Cold Open, he gave a Halloween address to the citizenry, while acknowledging that real world is a lot more terrifying right now than any seasonal dress-up.
“The world is a pretty scary place right now,” said Day’s Biden. “Wars, shooting, climate change, everything in the new Britney book.” Thankfully, he had a temporary solution. “Nothing puts people at ease like an 80-year-old man hanging Halloween decorations.”
Biden entertained a couple guests. One was Mike Johnson, the generically named — but possibly dangerous — new Speaker of the House. Played by featured player Michael Longfellow, Johnson is portrayed as a benign nerd with a shady air about him. The SNL writers ribbed him over one of the more bizarre aspects of his private life: the fact that he has an adult Black son, also named Michael.
“It’s normal, don’t look into that at all,” said the other Michael, played by featured player Devon Walker.
Eventually Biden was visited by “The Spirit of Halloween, the Ghost of All Hallows’ Past,” played by SNL fave Christopher Walken. The beloved actor has been hosting or simply making guest spots on the show since 1990, and this time he serenaded the president with a recitation of “Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet,” which concluded with him telling Biden he’d “pull down your underwear.”
You can watch the SNL Cold Open in the video above.