As a recent transplant to the West Coast, it was a bit shocking when I realized if I wanted to watch Saturday Night Live, what I was watching wouldn't actually be live — in fact, by that time I got there, the content would be three hours old. What that entails is a heck of a lot of memes and references on social media that I wouldn't understand for one-eighth of a Saturday. This may not seem terrible, but still, there's something unifying about an entire nation watching a live show at the same time. Which is why it's great news that SNL will air at the same time all across the U.S., regardless of time zone, Variety reported.
This new change will reportedly go down April 15, when former cast member and fan-favorite, Jimmy Fallon, hosts the show. This new air-time will carry on for the final episodes of the SNL's Season 42. These episodes will be hosted by Chris Pine on May 6, Melissa McCarthy on May 13, and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson for the season finale on May 20.
All these guest hosts are certainly exciting and they would be great to see live all over the country, but McCarthy is arguably the most meme-able. Her caricature on SNL of the gum-chewing White House press secretary Sean Spicer definitely caters to the kind of jokes that fans in different time zones won't want to miss.
With McCarthy's performances, the portrayals of Donald Trump by Alec Baldwin, as well as the on-point satire SNL has been dishing out since Trump's presidential win on Nov. 8, the sketch show ratings are reportedly at an all-time high. According to Variety, viewership for the season is up 19 percent in adults 18-49, and up 22 percent in total viewers. These kind of ratings beg for a show that is accessible and available for everyone at the same time.
In a statement to TVLine, NBC entertainment chair Bob Greenblatt said,
"SNL — enjoying its most popular season in two decades — is part of the national conversation, and we thought it would be a great idea to broadcast to the west and mountain time zones live at the same time it’s being seen in the east and central time zones."
That is a great idea — thanks, Mr. Greenblatt and co. It really feels like you have our best interests in heart.
Finally, those of us hanging out in Mountain Time and Pacific Time will get to log-in to Twitter on a Saturday night without having a hilarious SNL bit ruined for us. Sometimes, the world is a wonderful place — usually because of television.
Here's to the magic of SNL being available for all of the U.S. at the same time! April 15 is certainly going to be a night to remember.