‘Saturday Night Live’ Scores Most Watched Season Premiere In 4 Years With Host Chris Rock & Jim Carrey Debut As Joe Biden

Saturday Night Live returned to the studio last night to open its 46th season with host Chris Rock and Megan Thee Stallion. The season premiere, which introduced Jim Carrey as Joe Biden and featured Maya Rudolph as Kamala Harris and Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump, drew and 7.765 million total viewers and a 1.68 rating among adults 18-49 in “fast official” Live+Same Day results from Nielsen, special-ordered by NBC.

That was SNL’s #1 most-watched season debut in four years and second-most-watched in 12 years, only behind the 2016 opener a month before the last Presidential election. Versus the year-ago premiere, last night’s telecast was up +27% in total viewers (7.765 million vs. 6.107 million) and up +26% in 18-49 (1.68 vs. 1.33). SNL traditionally has done well in the run-up to Presidential elections; the previous season opener high mark 12 years ago also was during an election year, 2008, when Tina Fey’s impersonation of Sarah Palin dominated the pop culture conversation.

The Season 46 premiere was the second most watched SNL episode in more than three years, only behind last season’s blockbuster Dec. 21 telecast hosted by Eddie Murphy with musical guest Lizzo (and a cameo by Rock) as well as the second top-rated in 18-49, also behind the Eddie Murphy episode, in two years.

SNL ranks as the #1 most-watched entertainment telecast of the week to date on the Big 4 networks and #2 in adults 18-49 behind only Fox’s The Masked Singer (1.87).

In addition to the Cold Open, a parody of the first presidential debate, and the opening segment of the Weekend Update, which tackled Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis and hospitalization, the most popular skit from last might on YouTube as of this morning was “Superspreader Event”. The sophomoric humor sketch, which played off unfortunately sounding names with double entendre, sent one of the monikers trending in the U.S.

Here is the skit:

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