McCain scores big on Saturday Night Live

Jake Turcotte

Maybe Sarah Palin should have been on the top of the ticket.

John McCain's late-in-the-game appearance on Saturday Night Live went well. The ratings were good. And most so-called entertainment pundits gave it good reviews.

But, just like the debates, Sarah Palin was the larger draw.

Big ratings

According to NBC, the show averaged a 9.0 rating, 20 share in the 56 local markets metered by Nielsen Media Research. In plain English, that means the show did well. Or in Palin speak -- it did doggone good.

McCain's appearance gave the show its second best ratings in 11 years. Second to the show two weeks before that features ... Sarah Palin.

This was remarkable considering McCain appeared on the show with Ben Affleck, who is to ratings what the Hindenburg was to air travel. Not that "Gigli" wasn't a good movie or anything.


McCain appeared in two skits. The first had the Republican nominee hawking commemorative political wares alongside Tina Fey (as Sarah Palin) on QVC.

He made fun of his lack of money compared to Barack Obama's huge fundraising advantage, which allowed the Democratic nominee to buy up 30 minutes of time on seven networks last week.

“Would I rather be on three networks? Of course. But I”m a true maverick - a Republican without money," McCain deadpanned.

Weekend Update

He also appeared on the faux news segment "Weekend Update." During this skit, McCain outlined some late breaking new strategies he was considering.

The two that got biggest laughs were:

1) The Double Maverick: "That's where I go totally berserk and just freak everybody out. Even the regular mavericks."

2) The Sad Grandpa: "That's where I get on TV and go, 'C'mon, Obama's gonna have plenty of chances to be president! It's my turn! Vote for me!' "

Great ratings

Saturday Night Live frequently is under attack from critics who say, "It's not as funny as it used to be." Or "I gave up on it after Eddie Murphy left." Or "When Will Farrell bailed it was over."

The ratings this year however show that in the eyes of fans, it's doing pretty well. Ratings are up 70 percent compared to last year.

Stick around

And although Tina Fey has said if the McCain-Palin ticket wins she's leaving Earth, Palin had a message for Fey while stumping this weekend.

"A little advice for Tina: We wanted to make sure she’s holding onto that Sarah outfit because she’s going to need it for the next four years," Palin said.

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