Trump always said he wanted change, but this probably isn’t what he meant.
Despite the President’s constant criticisms (or because of them?), NBC’s long running skit show Saturday Night Live is receiving it’s highest ratings in 22 years.
The viewership for this, their 42nd season, is up 22% from this time last year, and up a whopping 19% in the key 18-49-year old demographic. Last week’s wildly popular episode, which guest starred Melissa McCarthy as a hilarious pantomime of Press Secretary Sean Spicer, was the second most watched program of the week by the 18-49 demo.
For context, that’s more than the show ever got when Will Ferrell was on it, or even Tina Fey. The last time the numbers were this high, Mike Meyers was still on the cast in 1995.
It’s not hard to understand the spike in interest. Trump and the White House are the ideal fodder for comedy, and when they’re not making ridiculous gaffes, they’re polarizing the nation with controversial moves and extreme executive orders. Thus Americans are more invested in politics than ever, and as such are tuning in for entertainment focusing on the subject.
SNL has always used their comedy to comment on the state of American politics, and the show has been delivering for months. The first show after the presidential election, hosted by Dave Chappelle, was the highest rated of the season, and the producers have kept a steady flood of politics on screen ever since.
And it’s not just SNL that’s benefitting from the chaos. News channels CNN and Fox News have experienced ratings highs in the past few weeks. Stephen Colbert, whose late night show never shies away from political content, just beat Jimmy Fallon’s more vanilla program for the first time since 2015.
We all used to say, “Thanks Obama.” Now the TV networks are saying, “Thanks Trump.”