Saturday Night Live’s first show following the 2016 election was more introspective than comedic; more thoughtful than satirical. It was also the show’s highest rated this season and its top Adult 18-49 rating since December 2013. The show averaged a 6.2 rating, 16 share in live plus same day household ratings making it the most-watched show since Nov. 7, 2015 when candidate Donald Trump hosted, and the show and averaged a 6.6 HH rating.
The 3.9 rating in 18-49 ties the show’s best since Jan. 7, 2012, which was the night of an NFL Playoff overrun.
SNL opened with a moving version of Leonard Cohen‘s Hallelujah, sung by Kate McKinnon on piano, as her Hillary Clinton character. It ended with a message, and that familiar refrain: “Live from New York, It’s Saturday Night.”
In a perfectly-timed return to TV, the open was followed by host Dave Chappelle‘s powerful monologue. The 11-minute routine ended with Chappelle talking about a recent visit to the White House for an event sponsored by BET: “I looked at that black room, and saw all those black faces, and I saw how happy everybody was. These people who had been historically disenfranchised. It made me feel hopeful and it made me feel proud to be an American and it made me very happy about the prospects of our country.
So, in that spirit, I’m wishing Donald Trump luck. And I’m going to give him a chance, and we, the historically disenfranchised, demand that he give us one too. Thank you very much.”
One thing the show did not include: a skit including anyone portraying Donald Trump.