New Survey Reveals Gen X Is Showing Trademark Indifference to ‘SNL’
Newsweek, the storied journalistic publication that dates back to 1933, just published the results of an investigation that is sure to shake democracy to its core. “‘Saturday Night Live’ Has A Big Problem” blares the headline, which raises two questions: 1) What’s SNL’s big problem? And 2) Didn’t Newsweek once break stories about the Nixon tapes, the Tiananmen Square massacre, and the horrors of 9/11? Today, we’ll only deal with the most important query — what’s wrong at SNL?
Newsweek recently commissioned an exclusive poll by research firm Redfield & Wilton Strategies to determine America’s feelings about the long-running comedy show. For Lorne Michaels and crew, the news isn’t great. 1,500 Americans were polled on July 6, 2023, to determine how much they missed SNL, a show whose season was cut short by the writers’ strike (and to be fair, a show that never airs in July of any year). A full 50 percent of respondents reported they didn’t miss SNL “at all.” That’s not good!
But it gets worse. Of the younger age groups, the most youthful Gen Z members are the least enthusiastic about a nearly 50-year-old comedy show that’s produced by a 78-year-old. Of viewers in the 18 to 24 age group, 38 percent don’t miss the show. Only 22 percent of their slightly older siblings, the 25 to 34 group, don’t miss the show. Thirty percent of viewers ages 35 to 44 say they don’t miss Kenan Thompson and friends on Saturday night.
The oldest age groups — we’re looking at you, Generation X — are the most ambivalent about SNL. Sixty-one percent of those 45 to 54 don’t miss the show, followed by 63 percent of the 55 to 64 group and a whopping 74 percent of those 65 and older. Guess it’s on past somebody’s bedtime?
Do SNL’s political sketches have anything to do with the numbers? Of those who don’t miss the show, says Newsweek, 53 percent voted for Donald Trump in 2020. Hey, look who just won a popular vote!
Another Newsweek/Redfield & Wilton SNL survey from last November (boy, Newsweek is committed to keeping its finger on the pulse of SNL fandom!) found that only one in five viewers found the show to always be funny. Another 48 percent said the show was sometimes funny, a number that we’re guessing is pretty consistent with viewer opinion since about 1978.
Newsweek concludes its coverage with Rob Schneider quotes about the state of the show. We’ll spare you the details, but let’s just say he’s not a huge fan of Kate McKinnon’s Hilary Clinton impression.