"Saturday Night Live" kicked off its highly anticipated Season 46 by taking aim at U.S. President Donald Trump.
Returning to their longtime home in Rockefeller Center's Studio 8H in Manhattan, the late-night live sketch comedy and variety show debuted on October 3 with familiar and iconic figures. This includes the 74-year-old Trump, played by Alec Baldwin, former Vice President Joe Biden, portrayed by Jim Carrey, and Biden's running mate Kamala Harris. played by Maya Rudolf.
The comedy show covered the chaotic first presidential debate between the world leader and Democratic presidential nominee.
"Let's get this show off the road and on the rails," the Trump impersonator mentioned, signaling the beginning of the argument.
He then dubbed the deadly virus as "China virus" and called it a "hoax."
"I'd like to begin with a list of complaints. The China virus has been very mean to me. And being a hoax and that statement is something that will probably come back to haunt me this week," he mentioned.
There he is. #SNLPremiere pic.twitter.com/Mfm7tBBcKh — Saturday Night Live - SNL (@nbcsnl) October 4, 2020
Meanwhile, Chris Rock, who stepped out with a mask on to open the show, threw solid jabs at the controversial president and his COVID-19 diagnosis.
"President Trump's in the hospital from COVID, and you know, I just want to say my heart goes out to COVID," the "Grown Ups" star joked.
To recall, the U.S. President recently tested positive for the deadly virus alongside the first lady Melania Trump, who was being treated at the Walter Reed Military Medical Center in Maryland.
The White House released a memorandum from the couple's physician Sean Conley stating that "the President and First Lady are both well at this time."
"SNL" Criticized for Trolling Donald Trump
Now, social media is criticizing the comedy sketch show for their tone-deaf response over Trump's healthy condition.
Alt-right political activist John Michael Posobiec called "SNL" a "conformist" for celebrating despite the devastating news.
"SNL is just cheering Trump having covid. This isn't comedy, it's conformist dreck," he wrote.
Meanwhile, syndicated radio, television and YouTube legal and media analyst Lionel Media also blasted the show for lacking sympathy and trolling the president.
"The Demons just don't know what to do. Or what to say or what to plan next. Imagine being a part of the SNL leadership team and putting on whatever that was last night in the wake of @realDonaldTrump's hospitalization for observation. What must it feel like to be that clueless?"
Fans also expressed their dismay over the season premiere, calling the show a "bunch of scum" for crossing the line between entertainment and being disrespectful.
"SNL have become a bunch of thugs, but last night they crossed the line. I will never watch that show ever again. Bunch of scum," one user wrote.
On the other hand, one fan showed his support to the variety skit show and advised viewers to take things on a lighter note.
"Ok everyone, lighten up. It's the job of edgy, outlaw comedy like #SNL to viciously satirize our elites on both sides, which is why they say stuff like "Joe Biden is kinda wacky" and "Donald Trump intentionally murdered 200,000 Americans." Don't take it so seriously, boomers."
despite the controversial debut of its 46th season, the latest episode of "SNL" has become the most-watched season premiere in four years after drawing a total of 7.765 million viewers, as obtained by Deadline.