Entertainment Weekly reports that Betty White’s recent Mother’s Day guest hosting gig on “Saturday Night Live” scored the show’s highest ratings in 18 months. The show scored an 8.8 rating/21 share in 56 metered markets. The last time the numbers were this good was November 1, 2008 when Ben Affleck hosted and Republican Presidential nominee John McCain appeared with Tina Fey as Sarah Palin.
Moreover, White’s turn on SNL was the highest rated program of the night, doubling the ratings of the evening’s next highest rated show.
I saw the episode and it was definitely worthy of the large audience. The 88-year-old White appeared in every sketch and was raucous and naughty. She was as charming and funny as ever too. Guest co-hosts and SNL alums Rachel Dratch, Tin Fey, Ana Gasteyer, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph and Molly Shannon seemed more than willing to acquiesce to the first-time host. It’s amazing White’s never been asked to host until now and even more amazing that it took a Facebook petition to finally get her in front of the 30-Rock Cameras. Something tells me her second gig won't be long in coming.
I speculated last weekend that the show’s May 8th and May 15th broadcasts would likely be among the season’s strongest. White held up her end of the bargain and now we see if next week’s season finale guest host, Alec Baldwin, can hold up his end. White leaves a lot to live up to, but Baldwin’s no amateur—as his record 15th guest-hosting spot attests to. Whether Baldwin’s ratings live up to White’s or no, Baldwin’s always lots of fun. A raucous serving of Baldwin’s “Schweddy Balls” should be a nice season-ending dessert following a Mother’s Day helping of White’s “Squirting Muffin.”