President Donald Trump, in the past several months, has taken it upon himself to publicly decry that Saturday Night Live (SNL) was an “unwatchable” and “unfunny” and “boring” among many other things. The issue he has with the show, of course, stems from the repeated guest appearances by Alec Baldwin in which he hilariously impersonates Donald Trump. And while President Donald Trump may not find Saturday Night Live entertaining or funny, it seems that more and more people do.
The reality, based on the ratings and numbers (which the President loves to use as a metric for success as is evidenced by his recent dig at Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Appentice ratings), though is that SNL has not been as popular as it is today in decades. Season 42 of SNL is the most watched season of the show in 22 years according to representatives from NBC. This means that the last time SNL was this popular was in the 1994 to 1995 season when the much-beloved Mike Meyers was still a key member of the cast.
Right now, SNL is more popular and watched more often than it was when Will Ferrell and Tina Fey were a part of the cast and writing teams. In fact, the viewership of this season is up 22 percent with the highest increase in the demographic group of 18-49 year olds at 19 percent.
Much of this ratings increase is likely due to Alec Baldwin’s portrayal of President Donald Trump. The president calls the performance and impersonation “sad” and says that it “just can’t get any worse” but viewers seem to disagree as do the ratings. And President Trump is not the only fodder for the comedy cannon.
In addition to Alec Baldwin’s President Trump impersonation, cast member Kate McKinnon, who did an excellent impersonation of Hillary Clinton throughout the election, has also brilliantly portrayed Kellyanne Conway and the newly confirmed Attorney General Jeff Sessions in various skits. And Melissa McCarthy has caused quite a stir with her two guest appearances on the show as Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Left-leaning views have turned to shows like SNL as a way to process and deal with all of the political antics going on in the real world and to get some much-needed relief from the constant barrage of new insanity.
One of the most popular, and likely controversial sketches, aside from the Sean Spicer impersonations by McCarthy was the President Trump sketch in which he was shown being controlled and manipulated by Steve Bannon, who was depicted as the Grim Reaper hovering over President Trump, controlling everything he does.
Numerous political shows have seen similar upticks in viewership since the election but none have caused the same stir that SNL has caused, particularly with the President himself. In fact, the more President Trump tweets about the show or issues complaints to that effect, the more people seem to flock to the show.
Clips of the political sketches starring Baldwin and McCarthy have continually gone viral online and the show as a whole is growing in viewership and popularity. Saturday Night Live is far from “unwatchable” these days and given the current political climate, it is very unlikely that it is going to fall back off the map any time soon. Much to the chagrin of President Donald Trump and the rest of the White House staff, SNL is here to stay and keep us all laughing and debating for the forseeable future.
Source Huffington Post