Maya Rudolph is brilliant, but the general “SNL” audience considers her part of the family and not a guest host.
Jack Harlow is unknown to just about everyone as a white rapper, and isn’t a draw.
These are the lessons learned from last night’s show as “SNL” had the lowest recorded ratings in over a decade. Going back to 2009 you can’t find a 3.6 million rating. But that’s what happened as Rudolph — albeit wonderful– hosted, and Harlow performed.
The show lost 500,000 viewers from its last airing on February 27th. Post-election, “SNL” has been averaging around 4.1 million.
The season high was 9.1 million on the Saturday after the election, and the numbers stayed around 6 million for three more weeks. But then reality set in: Alec Baldwin as Trump was gone. Trump himself was gone, and with him all acerbic political bashing. The resistance was done. “SNL” suddenly lacked a purpose. It went from being appointment viewing to a pedestrian experience. The fans tuned out.
The pandemic hasn’t helped. It became increasingly difficult to book hosts and musical guests. Celebrities didn’t want to travel to New York. No one had anything to promote. And so the choices whittled down to Rudolph, who we love but isn’t a movie star, and Harlow, who is unknown and frankly, after last night– even with an unadvertised appearance by Adam Levine, looking strange — may remain so.
Things should improve over the next two weeks with two Oscar nominees coming– Daniel Kaluuya and Carey Mulligan– and musical guests at least with a following– Kid Cudi and St. Vincent. But it was wrong of “SNL” to hang Rudolph out to dry ratings wise with a bad musical guest. They did her in, really. She deserves better.