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Another presidential election is upon us in the US and, as citizens have been prepping themselves for this day for a while, Saturday Night Live has been preparing by lampooning politicians. Fans are more than familiar with Alec Baldwin’s take on President Trump at this point but, this season, they were introduced to Jim Carrey’s Joe Biden. There was excitement when he was first announced to be assuming the role but, thus far, his take on the former VP has garnered mixed reception. Now, the comedian is getting a major endorsement of his own from voice acting legend Jeff Bergman.
Jeff Bergman lends his voice to both Joe Biden and Donald Trump on Showtime’s Our Cartoon President, in which he offers spot-on takes of both presidential candidates. While speaking with Bergman, I asked for his thoughts on Jim Carrey and Alec Baldwin’s SNL performances. When it came to Biden, the actor could only heap praise on Carrey for embodying the role, especially when it comes to the physicality:
Well, first of all, let’s just talk about Jim Carrey. I mean, he really looks like it, even his features and his height and his build. I mean, he’s extremely funny. He’s very physically funny, and he’s now starting to find some really fun physical comedy with Biden. Plus, once you put those ray-bans on and he’s got that hair piece on him, it’s kind of scary how much he looks like him. So I love what they’re doing, and it just makes it just that much better for anybody else who does it. Because the more people that do it, the more it's in people's consciousness and in their minds, and it's fun to see.
It’s hard to disagree with Jeff Bergman in regard to how Jim Carrey has injected a level of physical comedy into his take on Biden. If there’s anything Jim Carrey is known for, it’s his ability to use his body to humorous effect. He also does share a few physical similarities to Biden, which always helps with a performance like this.
Bergman also had some very positive thoughts about Alec Baldwin’s Trump. Although he seems to appreciate Baldwin’s overall performance, there’s one aspect of the impersonation that really impresses him:
Everybody picks up on something different, like Alec Baldwin. He obviously picked up on this face, the way that Trump kind of closes his lips. For me, that’s the funniest part of what he does. It’s like his face is frozen, he doesn’t change his expression. And I don’t know if he did that intentionally or was that just the direction of Lorne Michaels, but that is the funniest thing that he’s got that one frozen face and doesn’t change. I don’t know how he keeps his face like that for long. But yeah, I love seeing other people’s impersonations. And it helps you because you help them, they help you, you pick up things from each other.
To some, it may be seem like a small thing, but it’s honestly still hilarious to see Baldwin tighten his lips and maintain that expression throughout his performances. Little details like this are what helped Baldwin score an Emmy for his portrayal.
Getting praise for one’s work is always humbling, but getting a stamp of approval from a performer like Jeff Bergman is incredibly special. Depending on how the election pans out, Carrey may still have a chance to further develop his performance. And of course, we’ll watching to see how Bergman continues to add to his own iterations of Trump and Biden.
New episodes of Our Cartoon President air Sundays at 8:30 p.m. ET on Showtime.