SNL hit a fantastic 1.5 Nielsen rating in the key demographic of adults ages 18-49 this week, according to a new report by Deadline. That is not even accounting for those that will watch the show throughout the week, either in clips circulating on YouTube, on a streaming service like Hulu or with their cable provider on demand or on their DVR. One major factor had to be this week's host, who was once one of the show's most beloved faces every week.
Meyers was on Saturday Night Live for years, leaving at last back in 2014. As he joked about in his monologue, he did not go far. He literally works down the hall as the host of Late Night, one of NBC's talk shows. Still, there are many who miss his snarky demeanor and his sly smile every Saturday night on SNL's Weekend Update desk, and they were glad to see him return.
SNL was down from last week's episode, hosted by Awkwafina with musical guest Travis Scott, which got a 1.7 rating in the key demographics. Both were down from the season premiere, which managed a 2.3 with the help of host Adam Driver and musical guest Kanye West. Still, for the third episode of the year Meyers' appearance performed extremely well, and put the focus back on the variety show's decades-long legacy.
Of course, the seismic shifts in the news cycle likely contributed to the ratings as well, and SNL's part in them. The show gave a platform to Kanye West two weeks ago, and the rapper held the live audience captive for a diatribe on politics. At the time, he tweeted that SNL creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels had liked what he had done, and had invited him to host the show himself by the end of the year. However, Pete Davidson made it perfectly clear last week that that's not how most of the cast felt.
This week, the show was left to respond to a news cycle in which West had played a huge role. The rapper visited the White House on Thursday, wearing his "Make America Great Again" hat and speaking in a characteristically hard to understand, stream of consciousness manner. The show spoofed the meeting, with Alec Baldwin back in the role of President Trump, reciting an internal monologue about the bizarre meeting.
Saturday Night Live returns on Nov. 3 with host Jonah Hill and musical guest Maggie Rogers.