Melissa McCarthy’s appearance on S.N.L. this week couldn’t have come at a better time. In the wake of massive confusion on Capitol Hill over the abrupt firing of F.B.I. director James Comey, press secretary Sean Spicer—the subject of McCarthy’s blisteringly funny and virally popular impression—spent at least a portion of his Tuesday evening in or around some bushes. How could S.N.L. and McCarthy resist making fun? And, more importantly, how could millions of Americans resist tuning in? The episode’s sky-high viewership, more than the headline-grabbing smooch shared between McCarthy and Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump, may wind up driving the president over the edge. When it comes to ratings, McCarthy creamed him.
As we all know by know, Trump both watches a massive amount of television and, perhaps in a holdover from his reality TV days, cares very much about how TV ratings reflect on his standing as a public figure. The president recently tried to emasculate Stephen Colbert by erroneously claiming “when I did his show, which by the way was very highly rated. It was high—highest rating. The highest rating he’s ever had.” But though it may be true that during his campaign, the words “Trump Bump” referred to the Donald’s ability to drive ratings up for both news networks and the late-night comedy crowd, the phrase has since taken on a whole new meaning. Now that the nation has made him president, the real juice is in tearing Trump to bits.
That desire to see Trump mocked is likely why Baldwin’s February episode of S.N.L. scored 10.8 million viewers, according to Nielsen data—handily beating Trump’s 2015 S.N.L., which got 9.3 million viewers. McCarthy came in just behind Baldwin to once again trump Trump with a massive 10.3 million viewership this weekend, according to Nielsen.
Source/More: Vanity Fair