"Saturday Night Live" (SNL) received its biggest rating since 2012 on its Nov. 7 episode with business mogul and presidential candidate Donald Trump hosting the show. Despite the dislike for the presidential candidate, the episode he hosted in received even higher ratings than the show's season premiere with Hillary Clinton, another presidential candidate, hosted.
In the Clinton-hosted episode, the show poked fun at both Clinton and the other candidates but the Trump-hosted show didn't seem to have much bite and the hype that built up prior to his appearance didn't catch fire, or at least that's what the critics say.
It received an overnight rating of 6.6 as opposed to the Clinton-hosted episode of 4.5, however, many critics claimed that Trump's stint was all hype but did not have a satisfying delivery. "Most of the sketches involving Trump were weak, timid or predictable" a TV Columnist Maureen Ryan wrote.
The problem seems to stem from the type of humor injected in the Nov. 7 episode. "The show didn't, in any truly cutting way, make fun of Trump: it made fun of Trump voters, or at least the people it imagined them to be" Amy Davidson wrote. Likewise, some jokes were made at the expense of Trump haters, specifically, the Hispanics who protested Trump's hosting outside of 30 Rock just hours before the show began.
"You're a Racist!" someone from the audience shouted while Trump delivered his monologue with two of his impersonators, Taran Killam and Darrell Hammond. When the camera zoomed in to the person who disrupted the show, it revealed that it was none other than SNL cast Larry David and it was all part of an act. The joke alluded to Deport Racism's tweet saying they will give $5,000 to whoever will disrupt the show to tell Trump that he is a racist. When the camera's focus returned to Trump, he showed that he was unaffected by it. So who is the joke really aimed at?
"Even with expectations lowered to bargain-basement level, this week's show was a dumpster fire... there have been reports that Trump vetoed skits for being too 'risque,' but the problem with this episode wasn't a failure to push boundaries, but rather a failure to craft skits with punchlines" Daniel Fienberg wrote.
While many have expressed their opinion on how much of a letdown the episode was, one thing is for sure: Trump seems happy about being the cause of SNL's ratings spiking up whether for good or bad reason. People watched and, like it or not, Trump won.
Thank you to all of those who gave me such wonderful reviews for my performance on @nbcsnl Saturday Night Live. Best ratings in 4 years!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 9, 2015