Steve Martin & Martin Short Give ‘SNL’ Its Best Ratings of the Season

Steve Martin and Martin Short on 'Saturday Night Live' - Season 48
Will Heath/NBC

The Arconiacs were out in full force on Saturday, December 10, as fans of Only Murders in the Building and many more clearly tuned in as Steve Martin and Martin Short hosted Saturday Night Live.

The comedy duo, who hadn’t hosted the show together in 36 years, brought in 5.1 million viewers, breaking Chappelle’s record and providing the sketch show a much-needed lift. SNL has undergone massive casting changes in Season 48, losing eight cast members over the summer, and ratings for the series had faltered. Previous to Martin and Short hosting, the numbers had dropped to 3.9 million viewers during Keke Palmer‘s hosting duties the week prior. The highest ratings came when Dave Chappelle hosted with his controversial monologue, at 4.8 million.

 

Attempts to reel in a younger audience with Jack Harlow both hosting and performing on a recent episode brought in 4.1 million, while Amy Schumer’s hosting duties fared a little better at 4.3 million.

Martin and Short’s success shows the power of the tried-and-true host (or hosts), and the star power the beloved comedians still possess. They even joked about how many times they’ve hosted, with Martin making his 17th appearance — tying Alec Baldwin’s record — and Short taking the helm for a third time.

During the episode, the two played into their decades of collaboration, spoofing their ’90s classic Father of the Bride with surprise appearances from Selena Gomez as well as Succession star Kieran Culkin, who starred in the films as a child.

There was also a Santa and his angry elf skit:

And a reimagining of the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol, with Short playing Ebenezer Scrooge, saw him now reformed and attempting to give his riches away to the poor children of the community — only to end up in a particularly violent situation instead.

SNL has one more episode on December 17, with host Austin Butler and musical guest Lizzo, before going on hiatus for the holidays.

Saturday Night Live, Saturdays, 11:30/10:30c, NBC