SNL Goes Live With Thursday Night Specials

As NowPublic member mchawk reported Thursday, Sarah Palin may go head-to-head with Tina Fey on an upcoming episode of Saturday Night Live.

But while we wait for that momentous comedic occasion to occur, we’ll have the opportunity to catch more SNL on a night other than Saturday.

Tonight, the first of three prime time specials will air, hosted by Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler, and dubbed humourously as “Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday“.

Saturday Night Live is about to reap the whirlwind of the U.S. presidential campaign with the first of three prime time half-hour specials, Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday – a This Hour Has 22 Minutes-style newscast, delivered by “Weekend Update” faux news anchors Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler. Weekend Update Thursday will air live in the eastern time zone, and “live on tape,” as Larry Sanders used to say, elsewhere.

Last weekend, Saturday Night Live polled 48 per cent above its year-ago telecast. SNL jumped 23 per cent in the polls in just one week – the kind of bump candidates in the middle of an election campaign can only dream about.

More to the point, last weekend’s SNL, hosted by Anne Hathaway and featuring a parody of last week’s vice-presidential debate between Gov. Sarah Palin (R- Alaska) and Sen. Joe Biden (D-Delaware), was the most sharply written, best performed SNL of the season so far – bucking the usual trend of back-to-back SNL shows growing lamer as the season progresses.


These are heady, momentous days in prime time television, with crucial national elections galvanizing popular opinion. The Biden-Palin debate drew 70 million viewers in the U.S. last week, and nearly two million in Canada – astonishing numbers in a TV landscape where even the most-watched program on TV is lucky if it can break the 20-million barrier. Weekend Update Thursday is just the latest manifestation of a cultural and social phenomenon.

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