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Comedian Chris Rock on "Saturday Night Live." Photo: NBC

"Saturday Night Live" addressed the "elephant in the room," President Trump's coronavirus diagnosis, in host Chris Rock's opening monologue and in the cold open during the show's premiere episode of Season 46.

Driving the news: Rock joked, "President Trump’s in the hospital from COVID and you know, I just want to say my heart goes out to COVID." Meanwhile in the cold open, Jim Carrey as Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden spoke of "science and karma."

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
"You can trust me because I believe in science and karma. Now, just imagine if science and karma could somehow team up and send us all a message about how dangerous this virus can be. I’m not saying I want it to happen. Just imagine if it did."
— Jim Carrey as Biden

Of note: "SNL" also addressed the real-life debate moment when the former vice president told Trump to "shut up," as Carrey's Biden takes steps to keep his composure, including breathing into a bag.

  • In a surprise twist, Harry Styles made a cameo role after Carrey's Biden said he needed to listen to a meditation tape of the singer-actor to "calm me down."

The big picture: The NBC comedy was filmed before a limited in-studio audience at Rockefeller Center in consultation with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's team to meet COVID-19 protection requirements.

  • The Trump administration did not immediately return Axios' request for comment.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Dec 13, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus vaccine gets the "SNL" cold open treatment

Photo: Will Heath/NBC

The latest "Saturday Night Live" cold open tackled the FDA's authorization of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine a day earlier.

Details: Beck Bennett as CNN's Wolf Blitzer noted it's "like the PS5: Everybody wants it, nobody can get it, and if you're rich, you already got it like a month ago" before introducing the White House coronavirus task force's Anthony Fauci (Kate McKinnon) and Deborah Birx (Heidi Gardner).

  • The show was hosted by actor Timothée Chalamet, with music from Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

Flashback: Anthony Fauci praises "classy" Brad Pitt's "SNL" portrayal of him

Trump says he plans to launch new social media network in 2022

Photo: Chris Delmas/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Trump on Wednesday announced plans to launch a social media network called "Truth Social," and that it would go public via a SPAC.

Why it matters: Most ex-presidents are focused on their legacies, by creating presidential libraries or engaging in philanthropic endeavors. Trump, however, remains consumed by social media.

Beauty giant Coty Cosmetics looking to sell its own branded products

Coty Cosmetics CEO Sue Nabi. Photo: Axios on HBO

Coty Cosmetics CEO Sue Nabi tells Axios the beauty giant will “probably” introduce Coty-branded products one day.

Why it matters: Coty produces some of the world’s most popular fragrances, skin care products and color cosmetics on behalf of other well-known brands, but has shied away from producing its own branded products.