SNL: Jim Carrey and Maya Rudolph open the show with an Edgar Allen Poe-themed plea to vote against Donald Trump. – Slate

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A still from SNL showing Jim Carrey, in costume as Joe Biden, sitting in a leather armchair holding up an Edgar Allen Poe anthology.
Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, James Earl Jones, and *record scratch* Joe Biden?
NBC

Political scientists tell us that most Americans don’t decide who to vote for until the final Saturday Night Live cold open before Election Day. Well, the wait is finally over, and it looks like the gang at Studio 8H is endorsing Joe Biden and Kamala Harris … in the form of a spooky Halloween poem! Feast your eyes, glut your soul:

The bulk of the sketch is a parody of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven,” a poem so dedicated to its relentless rhythms that the narrator says, “Let me see then, what thereat is,” instead of “What’s that?” SNL’s version, however, plays pretty fast and loose with the rhythm, the meter, the rhyme scheme, the meter, the number of lines per stanza, and of course, the meter. Here’s the first stanza:

Once upon a midnight dreary, while Trump retweeted QAnon theories,

And rifled through his Adderall drawer—

I was writing my acceptance speech when something stopped me with a screech,

’Twas a knock upon my chamber door—

’Twas someone still a little sore,

Who made me scared of four years more,

Quoth the Clinton “We lost before!”

Look, we’re clearly not going to have real political leadership in this country until we all sit down and learn how poetry works, so open your copies of Sound and Sense to chapter twelve and let’s start a painful but necessary national conversation about trochaic octameter. Poetry aside, though, there were some hopeful signs here. This was one of the first times Jim Carrey has played Joe Biden and only Joe Biden, as opposed to Joe Biden plus Clint Eastwood or Joe Biden plus Jeff Goldblum plus a fly, and it’s a definite improvement. It’s also a quantum leap forward from the cold open that ran right before the 2016 election, in which Kate McKinnon and Alec Baldwin ran around Times Square in costume in a bizarre fantasy of national reconciliation that, you may recall, did not come to pass. That sketch ended with McKinnon saying, “We can’t tell you who to vote for, but on Tuesday, we all get a chance to choose what kind of country we want to live in.” Given how things turned out, it’s probably good that that they’re giving more specific instructions this time around: “This daylight savings time, let’s gain an hour and lose a president.”

As for the sketch’s general tone of doom and gloom, there are reasons to believe the election won’t be quite as bad as SNL is predicting. After all, in 2016 the show confidently prophesied, “IF DONALD TRUMP BECOMES PRESIDENT HE WILL KILL US ALL”:

It turned out that wasn’t quite true: Donald Trump did become president, but so far, he’s topped out at killing about a thousand of us a day. At that rate, it will take him about 900 years to finish the job. There’s always a silver lining!

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