As Alex Moffat made his debut as the newest Joe Biden on “Saturday Night Live,” even the show had to acknowledge the weirdness of the situation for the North Shore actor — “SNL’s” fifth Biden in less than 15 months.
“I’m like Colonel Sanders,” Moffat said from under his silver Biden wig. “Every time you see me I’m a different guy. There’s a good chance this time next year I’ma be Mario Lopez.”
Sounding a bit like Will Ferrell’s classic take on George W. Bush, the new bogus Biden made just a brief appearance in an opening sketch led by another North Shore native, Wilmette’s Beck Bennett, re-creating Vice President Mike Pence’s COVID-19 vaccine.
Moffat entered the scene haltingly, hobbling with a cane while wearing the orthopedic boot that is helping Biden rebuild his broken foot. But then, demonstrating the acrobatic skills he learned as part of the Benny and the Elevators hype squad at United Center, he fell into a somersault, Willy Wonka style.
The Biden role has been passed along a string of “SNL” cast members and former hosts. During the campaign leading up to Biden’s election in November, host Woody Harrelson was the first to portray him, in September 2019. Following him were cast alum (and Chicago improv veteran) Jason Sudeikis (reprising the role he assumed often during the Obama administration) and host John Mulaney, a St. Ignatius College Prep grad. (Back in 1991, Kevin Nealon portrayed the then-senator during a sketch about the controversial confirmation hearing for future Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.)
Film star and ex-“SNL” host Jim Carrey had been playing Biden this fall but said Saturday he was stepping down.
Moffat, a graduate of North Shore Country Day School, grew up in several northern suburbs including Wilmette, Winnetka, Glencoe and Kenilworth. “We made the rounds,” he told the Sun-Times in 2017.
He performed improv and stand-up in Chicago before landing at “SNL” in 2016. There he made his name in two Weekend Update bits: playing the glib Guy Who Just Bought a Boat and depicting Eric Trump as a childlike dimwit alongside his smarter brother Donald Jr. (Mikey Day).