‘Late Night’ Impact

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NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) ratings have soared, averaging 10 million viewers every night after introducing their Donald Trump parody doppelgänger Alec Baldwin, according to Forbes. Meanwhile Donald Trump’s approval rating for the week ending Oct. 5 was at 39.3 percent, according to RealClearPolitics’ aggregate.

“SNL” is an American late-night live television sketch comedy and variety show created and produced by Lorne Michaels. It’s mostly known for its satirical take on current events, political and social issues. The recent addition to the “SNL” character library is President Donald Trump.

The first Trump sketch premiered Oct. 1, 2016 in the midst of the presidential debates. Baldwin, in full costume and makeup, was indistinguishable from Trump. “Good evening America, I am going to be so good tonight,” said Baldwin, imitating Trump’s patented speaking style and mannerisms. “I am gonna be so Presidential all of you watching are going to cream in your jeans.” Baldwin continued to mock Trump by saying “I love the kids, I love them so much I’d marry them,” referring to his controversial remark said about his daughter Ivanka Trump on “The View” in 2006. “If Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her,” Trump told the hosts of the daytime show.

Trump has openly criticized SNL on social media platforms. “Watched Saturday Night Live hit job on me. Time to retire the boring and unfunny show. Alec Baldwin portrayal stinks. Media rigging election!” the president famously tweeted Oct. 16, 2016.

Several other shows such as “Late Night with Stephen Colbert” have jumped on the Trump hate train. Colbert has seen great ratings since the week of Trump’s inauguration, averaging three million viewers. Publications from Variety to Newsweek have credited the comic’s newfound popularity to his stinging criticisms of the president.

In Aug. 2017, Trump’s popularity slipped to 37.4 percent, according to RealClearPolitics, the lowest rate for him. His  popularity has rebounded slightly.

It’s unclear what next week will bring, especially with Trump recently criticizing Puerto Rico’s leadership and coming under fire for his handling of the relief efforts post-Hurricane Maria. “The mayor of San Juan, who was very complimentary only a few days ago, has been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Such poor leadership ability by the mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help. They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort.”

As expected, Trump was lambasted in late night comedy for his handling of the affair in Puerto Rico. It may be one of many episodes to affect the president and his popularity. So stay tuned.

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