Did you manage to catch the premiere of SNL this weekend? I caught the last sketch. If only I could remember what day it is on. Turns out it was its best season premiere since 2001 and the most watched SNL since 2002. A few writers have speculated the reason such as Tina Fey returning to the show to play Sarah Palin and that the host was Michael Phelps. These seem like pretty poor reasons for tuning in. Here's why:
a) I had no idea Tina Fey would be on the show, and was not surprised to find out she did appear as Sarah Palin (have you ever wondered why you never see the two of them at the same time?). So extrapolating from my information about me I can deduce that other people might also be unaware/unsurprised that she was on the show.
b) Michael Phelps, while very talented in the pool, has no acting or comedic experience (that I know of or that was evident in the last sketch I saw). Watching him talk about his experiences and training in an interview would be entertaining but watching him try and act could potentially be painful. Therefore, could he really be that much of a draw? Maybe in Baltimore.
I tend to think the real reason for the large audience is partly the fact that it's election season for el presidento and mostly because people need a good laugh. America has been hit by a couple of major hurricanes recently, there is serious trouble on Wall Street, the housing market is in serious decline, gas prices are "soaring" and television has sucked over the last 4 months. It's no surprise that folks are tuning in to watch a show that says "Hey, we understand what's going on at home, at work, at school. It sucks and here is why it's funny". Plus, who can resist McGruber.