In her SNL opening monologue, host Kristen Stewart admitted that she was nervous “because I know the president’s probably watching, and I don’t think he likes me that much.” Don’t worry, K-Stew, he’s not a big fan of the sketch series, either. Donald Trump has called SNL the “worst of NBC,” “not funny,” “always a complete hit job,” and “really bad television.” And that was just one tweet! He also said that Alec Baldwin’s “sad” impression of him “can’t get any worse,” which isn’t true. Have you seen Stephen Baldwin’s impersonation?
Anyway, despite Trump’s insistence that the show is “unwatchable,” SNL‘s ratings this season are the highest they’ve been in 22 years, largely because of Baldwin’s jaw-spraining presence. The most recent episode, highlighted by Melissa McCarthy’s stellar Sean Spicer impression, scored a 2.5 rating in the key 18-49 demographic. That’s “in line with SNL‘s overall season 42 viewership — its best since season 20 — which is up 22 percent in total viewers over last year (10.6 million vs. 8.7 million),” according to TVLine.
(Season 20 is an interesting peak. It’s when Lorne Michael was almost fired, Mike Myers and Janeane Garofalo quit mid-season, and Chris Farley, Adam Sandler, Kevin Nealon, and Ellen Cleghorne, among others, left following the finale. It’s like that old saying, I guess: misery loves good ratings.)
The season’s highest-rated episode so far was the one hosted by Dave Chappelle, but this Saturday’s, when Alec Baldwin will stick around for the whole night, could challenge it. I know one person who will be watching…