‘Saturday Night Live’ Season 48 Winners and Losers
The comedy number-crunchers over at The Saturday Night Network (@thesnlnetwork) have done it again, compiling year-end screen-time statistics for Saturday Night Live’s abbreviated Season 48. And the numbers don’t lie. So let’s see what the charts have to tell us about which cast members came out on top.
WINNER: Kenan Thompson
Surprise, surprise. The longest-tenured cast member in SNL history appeared on screen more than any other player for the second year in a row. (What might be surprising is this is only the third time that Thompson has topped the SNL screen-time rankings.) He logged an impressive 123 minutes and change. A surprising challenger to Thompson’s throne? Cecily Strong, who finished middle of the pack with 64 minutes and 30 seconds — in only six episodes! (She missed the beginning of the season with her Off-Broadway show, then bailed after the Christmas episode.) That’s more than 10 minutes of screen time per episode for Strong, easily eclipsing Thompson’s measly 6.
LOSER: Punkie Johnson
Uh-oh. Johnson ranked dead last in screen time this season, even after her promotion to full cast member. All four of the rookies logged more time than Johnson, who also had trouble getting on the stage last year (in Season 47, she finished second-to-last, besting only freshman Aristotle Athari who was let go over the summer). Both last-place finishers over the past two seasons — Lauren Holt and Athari — didn’t return the following year, so it’s a situation worth monitoring.
WINNER: Bowen Yang
Last year’s mass exodus, with Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Kyle Mooney, Pete Davidson, Chris Redd, Melissa Villasenor and Alex Moffat all jumping ship, meant someone was going to have to fill the void. The biggest beneficiary? Yang, who went from 10th on the “look at me” charts to second this year. In fact, he was just three minutes shy of taking out Thompson for top dog of Season 48. Yang was often called on to lead off the show this season, giving him extra “Live from New York, it’s Saturday night!” visibility.
LOSERS: Devon Walker and Michael Longfellow
In our Season 48 predictions, we forecast that at least one of the four new featured players wouldn’t be asked back for Season 49. That’s just history — one of the new kids seems to get held back every year. Based strictly on screen time, it is Walker and Longfellow who came up short, finishing within 30 seconds of one another for the short straw. Marcello Hernandez, however, was right behind Andrew Dismukes, a promising start for the rookie.
WINNER: Heidi Gardner
Someone was going to have to take over for McKinnon, Bryant and Strong, and it looks like Lorne Michaels tapped Heidi Gardner to step into those shoes. Her screen time ranking jumped this season to fourth, just behind Colin Jost (which shouldn’t count since his Weekend Update minutes are guaranteed every week). Ego Nwodim held steady as a top-six performer, while Chloe Fineman also ascended into the spotlight, doubling her on-screen minutes despite the abbreviated season.
The new queens have arrived.