Just like he did in 2016, Dave Chappelle hosted the first episode of Saturday Night Live after the election in 2020, and in addition to being one of the funniest episodes of the season thus far, it also delivered some amazing ratings for NBC. The episode brought in 9.1 million total viewers and averaged a 2.6 rating among adults 18 to 49 (via Variety). That is the highest-rated episode of SNL in three and a half years, as the last episode to achieve a higher rating was Melissa McCarthy's May 2017 episode with musical guest Haim. It's also impressive regarding total viewership as the only episode recently to surpass it was the Eddie Murphy and Lizzo episode in 2019 that hit 10 million viewers.
Chappelle's last appearance in 2016 did net a higher rating in the same demo, hitting 3.2, but the 2.6 is still the highest rating for a comedy since The Big Bang Theory's series finale last year.
Chappelle's newest episode featured the return of Jim Carrey as Joe Biden, Maya Rudolph as Kamala Harris, and Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump, though Rudolph appeared in a variety of sketches throughout the night.
Chappelle kicked things off with a lengthy monologue, in which he touched on topics ranging from the last four years, Trump's handling of the coronavirus, Chappelle's own challenges putting on shows in Ohio, not getting paid for streaming services airing The Chappelle Show, his great grandfather, what was happening in America before COVID-19, and where we are now.
It wouldn't surprise me to see Chappelle return for the episode after the 2024 election, though maybe he'll return to host a bit sooner than that as well. With ratings like that, Saturday Night Live would surely love it to happen.
Chris Rock and Megan thee Stallion kicked off the season, followed by Bill Burr and Jack White. Next up was Issa Rae and Justin Bieber, followed by Adele and H.E.R. It was then John Mulaney and The Strokes taking the stage, followed by Chappelle and the Foo Fighters. We're not sure who will host next, but Chappelle is going to be one tough act to follow.