Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

YouTube Votes Thumbs Down on “Saturday Night Live” Sans Tina Fey, Sarah Palin

That was fast.

The recent resurgence of "Saturday Night Live," spurred by Republican VP candidate and Alaska governor Sarah Palin and her comic doppelgänger, Tina Fey, may already be over.

How do I know? Well, there's the gut check--I watched most of Saturday's show, which didn't feature Palin or Fey, and it was a snoozer (the absence of new mom Amy Poehler probably didn't help either).

But we can also gauge the reaction of Internet users, thanks to the good folks at TubeMogul, a small start-up that specializes in tracking Web video views.

While SNL's sketches this season have become watercooler hits in both legal form (NBC.com, Hulu) and not-so legal form (YouTube), this weekend's show isn't making an impact, at least so far: TubeMogul says YouTube users are only trying to post SNL clips at the rate of about one per hour, since the show aired Saturday night.

That's down from an average of about six per hour for the other shows SNL has aired this season.

Could it be that NBC--owned by GE (GE)--is just doing an extra-zealous job of keeping illegal copies of its clips off of a video site owned by Google (GOOG)? Mmmmmmaybe.

But probably not: Last Thursday's SNL special, which featured not only Tina Fey, but also show veteran Will Ferrell as President George W. Bush, was a huge YouTube hit, generating 9.5 videos per hour and 1.85 million views in 24 hours.

Meanwhile NBC.com's own data confirm that this weekend's show fell flat: The site says the two political clips posted below have generated a mere 460,000 views since Saturday.

Compare that to Thursday's showstopper, currently at 1.5 million and counting.

I'd bet the remainder of our 401(k) that SNL's staff and cast are going to vote for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama next month.

But the bean counters behind the show are obviously rooting for the ticket of Sen. John McCain and Palin.


Latest Video

View all videos »

Search »

When AllThingsD began, we told readers we were aiming to present a fusion of new-media timeliness and energy with old-media standards for quality and ethics. And we hope you agree that we’ve done that.

— Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg, in their farewell D post