If you've been on the Internet at all today, you know that Saturday Night Live held a successful, super-sized, all-star celebration of its 40 years on the air Sunday night. It's likely that you were on the Internet last night reading and tweeting about it too.
SNL's 40th anniversary special helped the classic sketch comedy show earn two more milestones last night. Not only was it the most tweeted about episode of the 2014-2015 TV season so far, but it was also the most tweeted about TV episode ever since Nielsen began tracking Twitter TV Ratings in September 2013, according to Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings records, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
Apparently, all of those tweets about Game of Thrones that inundate your Twitter feed whenever it's on could not hold a candle to how much people tweeted about SNL 40. More than 449,000 users in the United States sent 1.3 million "#SNL40-related tweets" during the show and three hours before and after it aired, according to The Hollywood Reporter. A total of 9.1 million people saw these tweets 188 million times, beating out such social media-friendly shows as The Walking Dead and The Bachelor, which both went up against the special.
If you know anything about the SNL 40 special, it's easy to see why it garnered so much chatter. SNL announced that it would be putting on a star-studded special in celebration of the show's 40th anniversary back in April 2014. Since then, there was enormous speculation about which former cast members, hosts and musical guests would return to help SNL enter into middle age. SNL hinted at who would be attending through short teasers during the Super Bowl's commercial breaks. It also released an app to commemorate the anniversary, complete with basically every sketch from the show ever and special SNL-themed emoji.
SNL 40 was also a hit on Facebook with 6.3 million users creating 13 million "SNL-related interactions," not too far off from the social buzz the Golden Globes got this year, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Kanye West, Will Ferrell, Miley Cyrus, Eddie Murphy and Jimmy Fallon were the most-mentioned celebs of the night.
And yes, people do still actually watch live TV. With an average of 23.1 million viewers, SNL 40 also earned NBC its best primetime ratings for an entertainment telecast since the Will & Grace series finale aired in May 2006, with the exception of post-Super Bowl shows, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Man, with the success of last night's special, how is SNL going to top itself when it turns 50?