Comedy TV Capitalizes on the Presidency

SNL's 2015 logo. (via, Saginaw-hitchhiker)

The election has been anything but ordinary this year and late night comedy shows such as Saturday Night Live are capitalizing on the buzz. All throughout President Donald Trump’s road to the White House, everything he did seemed to have some sort of edge that comedy shows could satirize. He received backlash from the people and attacks from the media, but it did not stop him.  On November 8, 2016 Donald J. Trump was announced as winner of the election, but just like how he continued to make his way to the presidency, entertainment media has continued to capitalize on the large amount of people who find him to be comical.

Media shows covered mostly the facts and presented them in the most unbiased ways possible, but comedy shows gave no mercy when it came to impersonations and skits. Alec Baldwin was chosen to play Donald Trump on everyone’s favorite parody program, Saturday Night Live. It all started off as him in a mock debate against Hillary Clinton (Kate McKinnon), the public ate up the comical act of what was an actual reality of what our country was in for. Forbes writes, “viewers…have been quite pleased with Baldwin’s impression of Trump the entire season.” Baldwin continued to please all throughout the election process and appears regularly as Trump post-election as well.

Ratings of the show have all seen the benefit and have spiked since the election. As of February 5, 2017 the show’s ratings were up 22% for the year. The show is experiencing its most watched season in 24 years and has seen the title of second highest rated program of the week, behind CBS’ The Big Bang Theory.  As if that was not enough boost to the show’s pride, it even received a primetime spot on air. NBC announced this past Tuesday that they will be releasing a “Weekend Update” during the summer in the primetime spot. There will be four half hour episodes of this segment where all the usual cast members will be present. Usually, Saturday Night Live does not run during the summer, but NBC realizes they cannot afford to miss out on the constant flow of news (and jokes) coming from President Donald Trump. Overall, the election has been a huge positive boost for everyone involved, except of course the President and First Family.

Presidents have been made fun of on the air for over 40 years, but basically all of them have laughed it off as a right of passage of the job. President Donald Trump has not been happy with his portrayal on the comedy show and everyone knows. He gets made fun of weekly and even the media pokes jabs. He posts on Twitter often expressing his distaste for the programs and the offense he takes. One posting read, “I watched parts of @nbcsnl…last night. It is totally one-sided, biased show- nothing funny at all.” However, what he seems to neglect to realize is that the late night show never pretended to be unbiased, they completely go for it and leave no stone unturned. He also does not appreciate that his staff and family does not remain unscathed and receive jabs from the actors as well.

All in all, the election antics and the current President’s actions have been a gold mine for the late night comedy show, Saturday Night Live. It’s not only good for the producers and actors behind the hilarious portrayals but also the viewers who do not seem to be complaining.  President Donald Trump has a lot of negative things to say about it, but the show appears to not be slowing down by any stretch.  

Image Source: Saginaw-hitchhiker (Wikipedia Commons)

Sources: NYtimes.com, Variety.com, Forbes.com, Twitter.com