NBC’s Saturday Night Live returned with its 43rd season last weekend with strong ratings according to Variety.
SNL did not disappoint during its season opener averaging 7 million viewers and a 1.9 rating in adults 18-49 with actor Ryan Gosling as the host and rapper Jay-Z as the musical guest. Airing live in every time zone that should give them a boost in live viewership, the sketch comedy show did not shy away from the political parodies.
Alec Baldwin’s Emmy-winning parody of Donald Trump grabbed the most attention along with Kate McKinnon’s humorous act in a sketch about alien abduction and her parody of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Entertainment Weekly described Kate McKinnon as the “episode MVP” with saying, “She’s got an unparalleled ability to breathe life into even the weirdest little character, and she comes into this season with back-to-back Emmys for Outstanding Supporting Actress. Can’t wait to see what kind of weird, bug-eyed McKinnon character this season brings.”
Host Ryan Gosling brought some laughter when he could not control his laughter and broke character during the alien encounter sketch while Kate McKinnon was fondling his rear end to describe her experience.
Political parodies were not all that had the viewers talking. During his first performance, Jay-Z wore a 49ers jersey with “Colin K” and Colin Kaepernick’s number in the back that appeared to be in support of former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Michael Che voiced his strong opinion on Donald Trump during “Weekend Update” that continued to increase the social media chatter.
The season premiere was also the debut of three new cast members of the show Heidi Gardner, Luke Null, and Chris Redd who are replacing Bob Moynihan, Vanessa Bayer, and Sasheer Zamata from the previous season.
The steady high number of viewers are predicted to stay as such since the opener was the second most-watched season premiere since 2010 according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Saturday Night Live will continue to air live from coast to coast on Saturdays 11:30/10:30c on NBC with actress Gal Gadot as the next host and Sam Smith as the next musical guest.