After several waves of subpar viewership, “Saturday Night Live” is winning in the ratings game, and all signs indicate NBC has the election to thank for that.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, “SNL’s” ratings are up 20 percent from last year. Show skits that feature Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump and Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton are becoming must-see viral sensations that regularly get written about by entertainment news sites. And according to The New York Post, the “SNL” spoof of the first debate drew more viewers on YouTube than the actual debate.
This comes after The Post declared in 2015 that “Saturday Night Live” “can’t be saved by nostalgia anymore,” and The Wrap stated the show was “officially over-the-hill.” In May, the show’s season finale hit a season low, and in August stars Taran Killam and Jay Pharaoh announced their exit from the series.
But when its 42nd season premiered earlier this month, “SNL” saw ratings soar higher than they have in eight years, and much of the buzz was surrounding the show’s Clinton-Trump skit. In the weeks since, the election-themed skits have garnered similar buzz, and “SNL” is reaping the rewards.
Paper Magazine’s Editor at Large Peter Davis credited Trump with giving the show extra laughs.