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Canvs Breaks Down SNL: Emotional Reactions Up 3x Over Last Season

This past weekend, Saturday Night Live premiered its 46th season in what is likely to be a massively successful year for the NBC show. Viewers tune into the show heavily in election years, and with one of the most heated election cycles upon us, SNL will have a chance to capitalize and drive extremely high rates of Emotional Reactions. We took a look at how this season’s premiere compared to last season’s premiere, how viewers felt about the episode this past weekend, and what talent was able to drive the highest levels of engagement.

The new season of Saturday Night Live kicked off with massive levels of engagement

  • The Season 46 premiere of Saturday Night Live drove extremely high levels of engagement with over 67K Emotional Reactions and 247K total Tweets over the weekend
    • Emotional Reactions in Season 46’s premiere grew nearly 3x compared to the Season 45 premiere of Saturday Night Live, and total Tweets grew over 5x year over year
Source: Canvs Compare, Total Tweets in Weekend of Saturday Night Live premiere
Source: Canvs Compare, Total Tweets in Weekend of Saturday Night Live premiere
  • One of the major engagement shifts year over year was a 5% spike in ‘crazy’ Emotional Reactions from Season 45’s premiere to Season 46’s premiere, with viewers surprised by Harry Styles inclusion in the opening skit (4% of ‘crazy’ Emotional Reactions), Megan Thee Stallion’s performance as the musical guest (14% of ‘crazy’ Emotional Reactions), and Jim Carrey’s portrayal as Joe Biden in the Presidential Debate (8% of ‘crazy’ Emotional Reactions)
    • Testimonials:
      • “HARRY WAS ON THE SNL OPENING AHHHH”
      • “MEGAN THEE STALLION ON SNL RIGHT NOW. OMG.”
      • “JIM CARREY LOOKS AND SOUNDS JUST LIKE JOE BIDEN. 😳 #SNLPremiere”
  • Saturday Night Live was also able to win the weekend of its Season 46 premiere, ranking first in Emotion Reactions across all non-sports related airings
    • Compared to the averages of all programs the weekend of Saturday Night Live’s premiere, viewers found the episode nearly 2x as funny
Source: Canvs Explore, Emotional Reactions Across Programs from October 3 - 4
Source: Canvs Explore, Emotional Reactions Across Programs from October 3 – 4

The premiere of Saturday Night Live’s Season 46 was able to drive a wide range of Emotional Reactions

  • In the season premiere, fans overwhelmingly displayed positive Emotional Reactions such as ‘love’ (32%), ‘enjoy’ (12%), ‘funny’ (11%), and ‘excited’ (9%)
    • Testimonials:
      • Love: “Jim Carrey as Joe Biden was amazing!!! #SNLPremiere”
      • Enjoy: “It feels good to have actual SNL on TV”
      • Funny: “”Trump has Covid so… My condolences to covid” rofl @chrisrock @nbcsnl”
      • Excited: “I’m going back to my comedy ish SNL IS BACK GUYS!!!!”
  • In the premiere of Season 46, fans were laughing the most at Jim Carrey’s impression of Joe Biden
    • ‘Jim Carrey’ and ‘Joe Biden’ were able to drive over ⅓ of all ‘funny’ Emotional Reactions in the premiere episode
    • Testimonials:
      • “#SNLPremiere IS HILARIOUSSSS I love Jim Carrey as Joe Biden”
      • “Seeing Jim Carey as Joe Biden last night on SNL was hilarious. I miss Jim!”
      • “I haven’t watched SNL in years. Jim Carrey has me crackin up as Joe Biden #SNLPremiere”
Source: Canvs Compare, Top Emotional Reactions from the weekend October 3 - 4
Source: Canvs Compare, Top Emotional Reactions from the weekend October 3 – 4

Top drivers of Emotional Reaction in the Season 46 premiere were focused around actors and their portrayals of politicians

  • It’s clear that Jim Carrey had a massive impact on the success of the premiere episode, with over 15% of Emotional Reactions driven by himself, and over 12% of Emotional Reactions driven by politician Joe Biden, who he was portraying
  • Host Chris Rock (driving 10.5% of all Emotional Reactions) and Megan Thee Stallion (driving 5.1% of all Emotional Reactions) were also major contributors in the premiere episode
  • Current cast member Kate McKinnon (driving 4.9% of all Emotional Reactions) was able to drive significant Emotional Reactions with her portrayal of the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg
    • Testimonials:
      • “Kate sitting in the audience as RBG made me tear up 🥺 #SNL”
      • “THE FINAL SHOT OF KATE MCKINNON IN HER RBG FIT. UGH MY HEART 😍🥺🥺🥺”
  • SNL veteran Maya Rudolph (driving 2.4% of all Emotional Reactions) was also able to contribute to the success of this episode as she portrayed Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris
    • Testimonials:
      • “maya rudolph and kamala harris is the collab i now need to see #WomanAsPresident”
      • “Basically what is getting me through today is @MayaRudolph as Kamala on SNL tonight.”
Source: Canvs, Top Emotional Drivers for Saturday Night Live from October 3 - 4
Source: Canvs, Top Emotional Drivers for Saturday Night Live from October 3 – 4

Takeaways

  • Overwhelmingly, Saturday Night Live’s Season 46 premiere was a massive success, earning significantly higher levels of Emotional Reactions year over year
  • Fans showed a wide range of Emotional Reactions in the premiere episode, with many pointing to Jim Carrey’s portrayal of Joe Biden as the highlight of the night
  • Top drivers in the Season 46 premiere were heavily influenced by actors portraying key figures in the upcoming election cycle