SNL Returns to the Spotlight



Saturday Night Live’s opening credits are easily recognizable in popular culture

Audrey Wang, Staff Writer

Many people consider Saturday night to be the night to party until dawn. What many do not know, however,  is that approximately 23 million people spend their Saturday nights sitting at home, watching Saturday Night Live. Saturday Night Live (SNL) has been a big part of everyone’s Saturday night “party” since 1975. This October, the long-running comedy show began its 41st season.

SNL kicked off the first show of their new season with host and musical guest Miley Cyrus and special guest Hilary Clinton. The presidential candidate’s appearance caught the audience’s attention, as SNL’s producer Lorne Michaels was accused of supporting Clinton by giving her too much screen time.

For their second show, they headed out with first-timer Amy Schumer and musical guest The Weeknd. Although both notable, this show’s ratings fell a little flat but was still “the top rated show from the night,” according to writer Rick Porter for TV by the Numbers.

With the first two shows falling a little flat, SNL quickly picked up the pace by the third one, bringing back Tracy Morgan after a severe car accident that left him in critical condition. His appearance was welcomed by 30 Rock members and SNL alum Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin. The opening scene that night was about the recent democratic debate featuring special guest Larry David doing a spot-on impression of presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. These notable features to the third episode brought in “the show’s highest rating since Jan. 31, when J.K. Simmons hosted,” said Saba Hamedy, a writer for Los Angeles Times.

The most recent episode on November 7 featured controversial host and presidential candidate Donald Trump. Although having presidential candidates appear and host the show is nothing new, the choice of Trump is surprising to many.

SNL has often been at the center for many controversies throughout their four generations, from Sinead O’Connor ripping up the picture of the Pope to their ISIS sketch. The show’s choice of Trump hosting has been protested by many. The California Latino Legislative Caucus and the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda are asking the heads of SNL to refrain from letting Trump host because of his inflammatory remarks about immigrant groups. Trump said previously in a press release, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best…They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

However, rival candidate Marco Rubio has come to Trump’s defense. “It’s a free country. I don’t agree with everything that Donald Trump says, I don’t agree with everything the other side says, either. But if you don’t like it, don’t watch the show,”  Rubio said to Fox News.

Although this episode has brought in the highest rating since 2012, it was not without protests and controversy. But since SNL thrives on just that, viewers can look forward to more of the same in this upcoming season.