Melissa McCarthy, 50 Pounds Lighter, Among ‘SNL 40’ Wows: ‘Saturday Night Live’ Breaks NBC Ratings Records [Video]

Melissa McCarthy got a weight loss and comedic “wow” as she flaunted her 50-pound success in a skit at the Saturday Night Live 40th anniversary (SNL 40). And she was just one of the highlights as the show broke ratings records for NBC, reported Entertainment Weekly.

Although the show lasted for three-and-a-half hours, SNL 40 generated an average of 23.1 million viewers in prime time. In addition, it garnered a 7.8 rating among the group prized by advertisers: Adults 18 to 49.

With those numbers, SNL 40 became the most-viewed prime-time show in more than a decade. NBC noted that it hasn’t succeeded in achieving such a ratings runaway since the network broadcast the ER finale in 2004.

And although it didn’t break the internet, it did break records on Twitter, resulting in the most Twitter TV impressions in social media history, according to Nielsen Social.

What went into the success of the show? Producers cleverly combined reprisals of forever-green favorite sketches with new material, weaving new and old SNL cast members as well as celebrities, pointed out Today.

For example, familiar faces such as Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Jane Curtin brought back “Weekend Update.” The very, very, very scary Land Shark also bit into the show with its shriek-worthy shock.

The show also took time to pay tribute to those who were gone but not forgotten, and newly slim Melissa McCarthy made it clear how much she loves SNL, reported the Daily Mail.

McCarthy is a comedienne, and as such, she didn’t hesitate to mock herself on the show. Joining Amy, Tina, and Jane, Melissa honored Chris Farley by dressing like him.

Farley died at age 33 from a drug overdose, as the Inquisitr reported. He also battled deep depression, along with his co-star John Belushi, who also was missed by the cast.

In addition, Emma Stone paid homage to Gilda Radner’s Roseanne Roseannadanna, who battled ovarian cancer and died at age 42.

But although the mood was somber when those tributes aired, the creative McCarthy couldn’t resist going all-out for her portrayal of Farley, which included breaking the table. Her manly attire also showed off her weight loss success.

So how did Melissa take off those 50 pounds? As the Inquisitr reported, McCarthy followed a high-protein, low-carb diet after deciding that she needed to lose weight for her health.

Rather than go on a crash diet, Melissa made small changes, a source said.

“She’s been making small changes and seeing big results,” said the insider. “It’s given her a real confidence boost.”

[Image via Saturday Night Live]