It sounded like a great get at first. Here was a big-time star that could balance out the heft of Alec Baldwin’s Trump. But after three episodes, Carrey still hasn’t managed to break through. Maybe he’s too physical a performer, or too needy a showman, to capture the flapjack earnestness of the former vice president. It makes a person pine for Woody Harrelson and his chew gum dentures. Harrelson managed to imbue his Biden impersonation with both a car salesman’s glint and his own Woody Boyd guilelessness. Meanwhile, Carrey seems stuck doing uncomfortable schtick at half speed. You can almost feel him bristling to push the bit further into some exaggerated insanity, which will only grate worse. He’s a monkey tasked with playing a tortoise…

Switching in between NBC and ABC, Carrey’s Biden cozied up into Mr. Rogers’ red sweater and led a Bob Ross painting lesson—while Guthrie took a wrestling chair to the President’s chest. It was a part of the joke, but the sketch still lost all energy every time we switched back to Carrey. Biden by nature is a tough character to play; his decency, his gaffes, his tendency toward hokum and verbal meandering aren’t juicy Achilles heels to dig around in for sport. But it’s time for either the show or Carrey to pivot.