‘SNL’ With Host Chris Rock Scores Biggest Season Premiere Audience in 4 Years

Season 46 premiere showcased Jim Carrey’s debut as Joe Biden

Chris Rock SNL Saturday Night Live

“Saturday Night Live” fans turned out in masses for last night’s 46th season premiere, generating the show’s most-watched season debut in four years, according to “fast official” “live plus same day” results from Nielsen Media Research. Hosted by Chris Rock with musical guest Megan Thee Stallion, the show averaged a 1.68 rating in adults 18-49 and 7.765 million viewers overall, making it the most-watched season premiere since 2016 (with host Margot Robbie and musical guest The Weeknd). Excluding that telecast, the previous ratings record for a season premiere came in 2008 with host Michael Phelps and musical guest Lil Wayne. The show was kicked off with the much-anticipated debut of Jim Carrey as the show’s new Joe Biden in a parody of the first presidential debate. Opposite Alex Baldwin’s Donald Trump — with an appearance by Maya Rudolph as Kamala Harris — Carrey’s Biden asked America to “look directly into my eyeballs.” “You can trust me,” he said, mugging. “Because I believe in science. And karma, Now, just imagine if science and karma could somehow team up to send us all a message about how dangerous this virus can be. I’m not saying I want it to happen. Just imagine if it did.” In his opening monologue, Rock acknowledged the weird circumstances under which the season premiere was happening — that like almost everyone not associated with Donald Trump, “SNL” has enacted strict safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in order to be able to film in the studio. “This is a special show. This show is quite different than every other show. There are so many protocols. Everybody in this audience has been checked and all week I’ve had things going up my nose every day I come in here. I haven’t had so much stuff up my nose since I shared a dressing room with Chris Farley,” he joked.


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