WATCH: New Joe Biden impersonator launches ‘SNL’ season

James Austin Johnson, just hired this week, succeeds the North Shore’s Alex Moffat in the presidential role.

SHARE WATCH: New Joe Biden impersonator launches ‘SNL’ season

James Austin Johnson makes his “Saturday Night Live” debut impersonating President Joe Biden on the episode of Oct. 2, 2021.


A new featured player opened the 47th season of “Saturday Night Live” with his take on an exasperated President Joe Biden addressing the country about his infrastructure legislation and the general state of, uh, everything. 

“Broadway’s back, that’s exciting, right?” James Austin Johnson said while in full Biden makeup. But “so is the Taliban. Win some, lose some.”

Johnson, famed for his Donald Trump impressions on social media, takes over the role from the North Shore’s Alex Moffat, who remains on the cast.

“SNL” portrayals of Biden date back to 1991, when Kevin Nealon portrayed him during a depiction of the Clarence Thomas hearings. During his time as vice president and 2020 presidential candidate, Biden was played on the show by Jason Sudeikis, Woody Harrelson, John Mulaney and Jim Carrey.

Saturday’s opening scene also featured Cecily Strong as Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz.; Aidy Bryant as Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va.; Ego Nwodim as Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.; Melissa Villaseñor as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Moffat as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

“What do I want from this bill? I’ll never tell,” Strong quipped. “Because I didn’t come to Congress to make friends, and so far, mission accomplished.”

Pete Davidson later appeared in the sketch as former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (“Governor-ish,” in his words) to help Biden bolster his legislation’s hopes. Cuomo resigned earlier this year in the fallout of his sexual harassment scandal.

“Just like me, it deserves a second chance,” Davidson said. “And a third chance. And up to at least 11 chances.

In addition to Johnson, another newcomer enjoying substantial screen time during her “SNL” debut was Sarah Sherman, who used to perform stand-up in Chicago under the stage name Sarah Squirm.

She’s known for her grotesque celebrations of bodily functions, and her biggest role on the episode was on-brand: Sherman played a doctor whose interest in stool samples went beyond the merely medical.


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