Comedian Dice Adds Spice to ‘SNL’ Ratings

<i> Associated Press</i>

Raunchy comedian Andrew Dice Clay’s controversial appearance on “Saturday Night Live” drew substantially higher ratings to go with the hecklers and protests it generated, NBC said.

Dice’s presence on Saturday’s late-night broadcast had sparked protests from homosexual and women’s groups and led cast member Nora Dunn and singer Sinead O’Connor to refuse to appear.

Preliminary ratings figures gave the show a market share of 31%, 6 percentage points higher than SNL’s usual 25 share, said Rosemary Keenan, an NBC spokeswoman.

NBC logged 234 negative phone calls during the broadcast, with only 13 calls supporting the appearance by the acid-tongued comic, known for his derogatory and graphic put-downs of women and minorities and explicit descriptions of violent sexual encounters.