Creator Profile: How ‘Saturday Night Live’ Uses Social Video to Help Dominate the Pop-Cultural Conversation

B&C has teamed up with social video analytics company Tubular Labs for a recurring look at how various content creators are deploying video to reach audiences online. In this edition, a look at how NBC comedy juggernaut Saturday Night Live continues to powerfully engage audiences beyond its weekly TV broadcast.

Creator Profile & Essential Stats
Name:Saturday Night Live
Genre: Entertainment
Core audience: 6.7 million followers on Facebook and 5.5 million subscribers on YouTube

Despite the show’s age (it’s been on the air for over 40 years), Saturday Night Live remains a fan-favorite and is as topical as ever. In fact, it’s still the choice of many major celebrities when it comes to promoting their latest projects (movies and albums, especially) and even sharing big personal news; see Cardi B’s recent pregnancy confirmation on the show earlier this month. And it’s not just TV that SNL leverages — NBC puts major focus on harnessing the power of social networks to distribute clips from various episodes to keep the show relevant as a pop-cultural force.

According to Tubular, the No. 1 SNL video uploaded in the last 90 days has 9 million views and features Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman playing “Black Jeopardy” alongside Leslie Jones, Chris Redd and other SNL cast members. Although SNL has done the “Black Jeopardy” segment before, Boseman, the guest host of the April 7 episode, brought megawatt star power to it, given that Black Panther has become a cultural touchstone and recently became the highest-grossing superhero movie in U.S. history.


Although many of the show’s most-watched clips uploaded in the period measured come from its YouTube page, the second-place video was posted to Facebook. In “Revolutionary War,” which was posted on Feb. 4, “representatives from New England (led by Natalie Portman and Rachel Dratch) claim they are superior to a Philadelphia crew (led by Tina Fey),” as the video’s description sums it up. The timing for the segment was, of course, perfect — that was the day the New England Patriots faced off (and ultimately succumbed to) the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII.

SNL’s third-place video, with 6.9 million YouTube views, also came from the Chadwick Boseman-hosted April 7 episode of the show. It stars musical guest Cardi B performing “Be Careful.” The segment became a social media sensation thanks to it being seen as official confirmation of the superstar’s pregnancy.