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Jim Carrey to play Joe Biden on SNL, new season starts Oct. 3

Saturday Night Live will also kick off season 46 with five live shows in a row, a first in the show's history.

Actor Jim Carrey as the villain Dr. Robotnik in Sonic the Hedgehog movie.
Video screenshot by CNET

With Joe Biden running for US president, NBC's live sketch-comedy series Saturday Night Live needs a celebrity to play him.  Actor-comedian Jim Carrey has gotten the role, Saturday Night Live announced on Wednesday. 

"There was some interest on his part, and then we responded, obviously, positively," SNL producer Lorne Michaels told Vulture. "But it came down to discussions about what the take was. He will give the part energy and strength, and hopefully, it's funny."

Previous celebrities to play the former vice president include Jason Sudeikis, Kevin Nealon, John Mulaney, and most recently actor Woody Harrelson.

SNL will also start the new season with five consecutive shows on Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31. This is the first time in the show's long history it will have this many back-to-back episodes. 

"I made the decision early on ... that we would do something we hadn't done before, which was five shows in a row," Michaels said. "Because there are four debates and then it's Halloween, and that's the weekend before the election. And sadly, if the election gets extended, then we'll be doing six or seven shows in a row."

The show also announced that three new comedians -- Lauren Holt, Punkie Johnson and Andrew Dismukes -- have been added to the cast for the new season. Meet them here

In line with social distancing protocol, the show will also have a limited in-studio audience at Rockefeller Center in New York City, and will "work closely with Governor Cuomo's team." 

SNL premieres its new season on NBC on Oct. 3.