SNL Ratings Soar Thanks to Satirical Sketches


Alec Baldwin portrays President Trump in a sketch featuring advisor Steve Bannon, played by the Grim Reaper.

Stefanie Henkel, Crown Staff


Melissa McCarthy portrays White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer in a mock press conference on SNL.

Saturday Night Live  is known for its  satirical portrayal of public figures and events in the form of funny sketches. During the 2016 election, it aired several sketches making fun of the presidential candidates and other people of political importance. After they aired these sketches, the show’s ratings soared, making this year’s season their most watched season in twenty-two years with an average of 10.6 million viewers per episode. By far the most popular sketches involve Alec Baldwin portraying President Donald Trump and Melissa McCarthy as white house press secretary Sean Spicer. The most popular show was when Baldwin hosted and  the evening was packed with several Trump-related sketches, as well as jokes on “Weekend Update”, a recurring sketch on the show. SNL has not had this great of an impact on the public’s view of a president since Chevy Chase portrayed Gerald Ford as an unorganized klutz, which some people believe to be the reason Ford lost the 1976 election. SNL also produced several sketches portraying  Hillary Clinton and her husband Bill Clinton. At one point, the show even produced two mock campaign commercials for the candidates, portraying Trump as being endorsed by several hate groups ,and Clinton as someone

Kate McKinnon plays Hillary Clinton in a presidential spinoff of a scene from Love Actually. 

who is trying to too hard to be relatable to today’s youth. Trump has not ignored these sketches and even has tweeted in regards to the sketches saying,  “@NBCNews is bad but Saturday Night Live is the worst of NBC. Not funny, cast is terrible, always a complete hit job. Really bad television!” Through the Election season, Saturday Night Live produced several sketches that got a lot of the public’s attention, and brought humor to a tense election season.