NBC’s ‘Saturday Night Live’ missing out on ‘comedy gold’ by avoiding Biden portrayals: Joe Piscopo

Live, from New York, it’s… not Joe Biden.

NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” spent decades mocking, satirizing and poking fun at presidents but has oddly avoided any depictions of President Biden since Inauguration Day, raising eyebrows across the industry. 

Liberal actor Alec Baldwin spent Trump’s entire tenure lampooning his every move, with the show regularly taking shots at the president during its “cold opens.” Before NBC enlisted Baldwin to play an unflattering version of him, the network had made stars out of multiple cast members who were tasked with playing Trump.

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Comedian and radio host Joe Piscopo played Ronald Reagan on “Saturday Night Live” during the Gipper’s first term. He feels the NBC show can spoof Biden without being mean if it simply focuses on being funny.

“My task was to satirize Ronald Reagan. We did it nicely, we did it respectfully, and we got some great comedy material,” Piscopo told Fox News. “There is comedy gold in Joe Biden.”

Piscopo was hesitant to discuss his former program because he didn’t want it to appear that he was criticizing the show he starred on from 1980 to 1984. He called it “the most difficult show to do both physically and mentally” but offered some friendly advice for the current cast.

“They have the right to reach out across the board and make fun of anybody. There is so much material,” Piscopo said.

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“You can’t make up Fang Fang. You can’t make up a man on the House Intelligence Committee sleeping with a Chinese spy. This is comedy gold,” Piscopo said, referring to allegations against Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif.

“You can’t make up Joe Biden doing almost 50 executive orders and the camera, when it slips a little bit, Kamala Harris is waiting to dive in,” Piscopo said. “Fair is fair, if you’re going to go after one person, you should go after everybody.”

Piscopo said Maya Rudolph, who played Harris during the election, should be hard at work spoofing the vice president, and Biden’s family offers a plethora of potential material, too.

“She should be playing Kamala Harris ready to jump in there. She’s following Joe around with everything he does,” Piscopo said. “Hunter Biden got a $2 million book deal, what is the name of the book, ’50 shades of my laptop?’ It’s teed up, man. Come on!”

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The tradition of mocking presidents on “SNL” is storied and has resulted in memorable, career-making performances.

Chevy Chase played Gerald Ford, Dan Aykroyd played Jimmy Carter, Piscopo and Phil Hartman portrayed Reagan, Dana Carvey famously parodied George H.W. Bush, Darrell Hammond depicted Bill Clinton, Will Ferrell morphed into George W. Bush and Jay Pharoah poked fun at Barack Obama – but none of the current cast members have received that opportunity since Biden took office.

“SNL” even had Jim Carey play Biden during the campaign and cast member Alex Moffat played him once after Carey bolted. Biden has been mentioned on the show’s “Weekend Update,” but Biden has not been spoofed in a stand-alone skit as every president since Ford has been.

Comedian Adam Carolla recently said shows like “SNL” are “scared” to attack Biden because of the fear of being “cancelled.”

Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump during the "Impeachment Fantasy" Cold Open on Saturday, February 1, 2020 -- (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC)

Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump during the “Impeachment Fantasy” Cold Open on Saturday, February 1, 2020 — (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC)
(Will Heath/NBC)

“Honestly, I get what there is to hate about Donald Trump,” Carolla said on “America’s Newsroom.” “What is there to love about Joe Biden? That’s the bigger question if you’re SNL. OK, you hated Trump, fine. Why do you love Joe Biden? There’s nothing to love about Joe Biden, unless you’re scared of being cancelled, and the fact that this cancel culture has drifted over to comedy is absolutely insane.”

“Saturday Night Live” did not immediately respond to a series of questions, including why it hasn’t featured a Biden character and if there are plans to portray the president in the future.  

SNL left little doubt during the 2020 election that it preferred Biden to win, and it even referred to his inauguration this month as good news during its “Weekend Update” segment. The show famously mourned Trump’s victory in 2016, having Hillary Clinton impersonator Kate McKinnon do a serious rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” in its first cold open after the election.

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Political satirist Tim Young didn’t hold back, blasting “SNL” for shielding its audience from “the wealth of material Biden and circle-back Psaki” has provided over the past month.

“’SNL’ is aware of who their viewers are, they can’t possibly have Republicans watching anymore — and they’re aware that Biden looks like a weak and bumbling president. That combination plus that writers room, that is full of liberals, means that they will protect everything that they stand for,” Young told Fox News.

Jim Carrey played Joe Biden during the election but "SNL" has avoided any Biden characters since he took office. (Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Jim Carrey played Joe Biden during the election but “SNL” has avoided any Biden characters since he took office. (Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Young feels the show would portray Biden as “an elderly, confused man who has no idea where he is, let alone that he’s supposed to be running the country” if he were a Republican.

“As comedians, you would think they’d take advantage… but they won’t, because they’ve become more propagandists carrying water for the DNC in the past five years than anything else,” Young said.

Fox News host Carley Shimkus is aware the NBC program caters to liberals but she expected a Biden character to make some sort of appearance.

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“If you’re watching ‘SNL’ at this point, you know what the deal is. You’re either not political at all or you’re a liberal, so they’re playing to the audience,” Shimkus said during a recent “America Reports” segment.

“I would have thought that he would have been a part of the show, they would have just made him some sort of lighthearted, likeable character, but they’re avoiding him at all costs,” Shimkus said.

Fox News’ David Rutz contributed to this report.

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