Melissa McCarthy’s milestone five timers hosting gig this past weekend was a huge ratings success. Her episode tied the highest rating for any broadcast show in the past 7 weeks since Fox’s Empire did a 2.82 on March 22. Overall, SNL is up 25% in the demo and 31% in total viewers compared to the same point last year. With an average of just under 11 million viewers per episode, included delayed viewing, it’s the sketch comedy’s most watched season since 1993.
The numbers are no doubt buoyed by the show’s hilarious spoofs on Donald Trump and his administration. The cover features Alec Baldwin as the US President, McCarthy as Sean Spicer, Beck Bennett as Vladimir Putin, Kate McKinnon as Kellyanne Conway and Jeff Sessions, and Cecily Strong as Melania Trump.
Check out more pics below along with some quotes from their interviews with The Hollywood Reporter.
Alec Baldwin On Playing Donald Trump
“I’m not going to name names, but a cabinet member walked up to me at a restaurant in Manhattan — Manhattan, that’s a hint — and he goes, ‘I gotta tell you something. This thing you’re doing is good, it’s really good,’ ” says the 59-year-old actor. “He goes, ‘I’ll get fired if anybody quoted me saying this, but that’s exactly what he’s like when you do it.’”
Beck Bennett On Playing A Shirtless Putin
“When I did the cold open with John Goodman [as Rex Tillerson] and Alec [in December], Lorne wanted to make sure that my Putin impression was entertaining throughout the scene as opposed to just one silly beat, which is what it had been before. He said, ‘Let him be that sort of Bond villain — he enjoys his power, he’s having fun with everybody. People want to laugh with him, so let’s see the silly side of Putin.’ Then when we were rehearsing it, he came by and said (in Michaels’ voice), ‘And with the shirt off.’”
Melissa McCarthy On Impersonating Sean Spicer
“I don’t do impressions. I don’t have the ear for it. But when I read the script, I was like, ‘Oh, God, that is juicy, but I don’t understand how we’re going to physically make it work.’ To which the amazing special effects person at SNL was like, ‘Oh, yeah, that’s not that big of a deal. That’s gonna take me, like, 15 minutes.’ I was like, ‘Hey!’”
For more, head over to The Hollywood Reporter.