The presidential election has proved itself to be the goose that lays the golden egg for “Saturday Night Live,” with NBC’s sketch show breaking more ratings records over the weekend.
Alec Baldwin returned to spoof Donald Trump and the final debate, alongside Kate McKinnon’s Hillary Clinton. Moderator Chris Wallace was portrayed by host Tom Hanks, who received high praise from critics for his ninth stint as “SNL” host, with TVLine proclaiming his and musical guest Lady Gaga’s efforts “near perfect.”
While official ratings will be released Tuesday, Deadline reports preliminary estimates show the episode blew past the season’s premiere on Oct. 1 (which had a 5.8 rating), with a 6.1 metered-market rating. October viewership is closing in on the 7.1 rating held by the final “SNL” episode before the 2008 election.
“SNL” is taking this coming weekend off, returning its last pre-election episode on Nov. 5. “Dr. Strange” star Benedict Cumberbatch was announced Sunday as the episode’s host, with Solange slated to perform as musical guest.