‘Saturday Night Live’ Hits Digital High with Trump, Hillary Sketches

Saturday Night Live’s” 41st season bowed Oct. 3, and its digital footprint has never been heftier.

Following the airing of the premiere episode, which was hosted by Miley Cyrus and featured sketches lampooning presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, “SNL’s” official YouTube channel was viewed a total of 5.7 million in the first 72 hours, according to ListenFirst Media. This signals a leap in digital popularity from last season’s premiere, which netted 1,239,591 views in the same time frame, and the previous season’s premiere, which notched just 59,601 views.

The Trump and Hillary sketches each played a large part in the boost: the Trump cold open tallied 1.5 million views in its first 72 hours, and the Clinton bartender sketch accounted for 1.3 million.

For context, consider that Jimmy Fallon’s “Tonight Show” clip featuring Hugh Jackman and Shaquille O’Neal accumulated 993,000 views in its first 72 hours online.

Between seasons 40 and 41, the official “SNL” channel on YouTube jumped from about 300,000 to 1,239,591 subscribers.

“While the daily late night programs typically rule the TV world when it comes to YouTube viewership largely due to the volume of clips posted on a daily basis, ‘SNL’s’ numbers this week are quite impressive, reinforcing the notion that sketch comedy content may be even more impactful online than on-air,” said Jason Klein, co-CEO/co-founder of ListenFirst Media. “We’ll be interested to see how ‘SNL’s’ numbers hold up as the rest of the season rolls out.”

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