Four years ago, Dave Chappelle took the Saturday Night Live stage as host days after Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States. It was Chappelle’s first time hosting and over the weekend the variety sketch show brought him back to recreate some of that magic for this year’s post-election day episode and it resulted in a huge win for NBC.
Saturday Night Live really had great timing on its side because the episode aired after a big news day that saw Joe Biden being declared as the winner of the election over Donald Trump. All eyes were bound to be on what SNL was going to do and the numbers clearly reflect that fact. The episode, which also featured the Foo Fighters as the night’s musical guest, averaged a 2.62 rating in Live+Same Day adult 18-49 rating and 9.064 viewers overall, according to official national ratings from Nielsen. This is the highest SNL 18-49 rating in three-and-a-half years, since May 13, 2017 (with host Melissa McCarthy & musical guest Haim, 2.74) and the most-watched SNL telecast since then, behind the December 21, 2019 show hosted by Eddie Murphy with musical guest Lizzo (9.981 million viewers).
The SNL episode also crushed other benchmarks including being television’s highest-rated entertainment telecast in the 18-49 demo since ABC’s Academy Awards on February 9, 2020 (5.33 in 18-49). In total viewers, this is television’s most-watched entertainment program since the season premiere of NBC’s America’s Got Talent on May 26, 2020 (9.877 million viewers). The post-election day episode was also television’s highest-rated comedy telecast in the 18-49 demo since the Big Bang Theory series finale on May 16, 2019 (3.23).
For comparison’s sake, the 2016 post-election day episode drew 8.691 million viewers and a 3.15 18-49 demo rating. This year’s episode was up 4% in total viewers but off a bit in the coveted 18-49 demo. Despite the slight demo drop, SNL and NBC have to be thrilled by the results, especially since the network television climate has been pretty flat in the wake of the global pandemic. This shows if there is something that people really want to watch, they will watch it.
Did YOU check out the post-election day episode of Saturday Night Live?