Saturday Night Live has always been on the forefront of pop culture in America. Hyperbolizing everyday life by means of sketches and actors trying desperately not to break character (although we love it when they do) has shown to be enjoyable for most, proven by its long lasting years on television. In 2016, when the 42nd season of “SNL” began, it had been the biggest premiere the show has had in eight years. What could’ve been the cause of this sudden rise in viewership?
Last year, the United States underwent one of its most controversial years in politics, and SNL’s part of remaining on the forefront of pop culture has customarily included making sketches mocking politics.
After the election, The Hollywood Reporter said, “Saturday Night Live is having its best run, at this point in a season, in 24 years. With live-plus-seven-day ratings, the show is averaging 11.4 million weekly viewers and a 3.6 rating in the key demo.”
Although the election contributed to SNL’s relevancy in 2016, sites such as Youtube and Facebook facilitated its firm grasp on it. Every sunday morning, the official Saturday Night Live Youtube channel uploads sketches done on the previous night, which gains traction, and then gets shared on social media sites such as Facebook, and Twitter, allowing the sketches to reach more audiences, ending with discussions and articles being written about them.
This repeating process eventually leads to more people tuning in on Saturday night to watch the show. Their most popular sketches are those mocking politicians: Alec Baldwin’s President Trump impression, Kate McKinnon’s Kellyanne Conway and Hillary Clinton impression, and the fan-appreciated Melissa McCarthy impression of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
These sketches have been trending, gaining millions of views in a matter of days; their impact have helped Saturday Night Live to maintain relevancy in the past few months.