If you’re anything like me (and I assume if you’re still reading this blog after I went full “Hamilton” on you last week that you are) you’re still mildly freaking out over last night’s amazing episode of “Saturday Night Live,” hosted by Tracy Morgan. Between the truly inspired casting of Larry David as Senator Bernie Sanders in the cold open, the full-on “30 Rock” (my favorite show of all time, by the way) reunion in Morgan’s monologue and the appearances of beloved Tracy Morgan characters like Brian Fellow, Woodrow and Astronaut Jones, the show totally made up for the lame Miley Cyrus season opener and the surprisingly tepid Amy Schumer episode. Here’s hoping the momentum isn’t ruined by the next new episode on November 7, hosted by the always irritating Donald Trump.

 

It’s sometimes crazy to think that a show that elaborate can be fully thought out and executed in just a week but after over 40 years of shows, the people at “SNL” seem to have it down to a science. This process is currently being explored at “Saturday Night Live: The Exhibition,” a really impressive exhibit in New York City full of props, costumes and other fun tidbits that follows the day-to-day events that go into making an episode of “SNL.” I was able to check it out over the summer and lucky for you, I took lots of photos. Instead of going through the whole collection like some annoying relative after a long vacation, I’ve decided to narrow it down to just nine pictures that sort of follow the week-long process that goes into making the show and give you a glimpse of what all can be seen at the exhibit. It doesn’t appear to be closing any time soon, so if you get a chance I suggest you go see it. And for more details on the weekly process itself, check out this great New York Post piece.

 

Plans for each episode begin on Monday in Creator of "SNL" Lorne Michaels' office, where cast members, writers, and the host meet to pitch sketch ideas. Until recently, this was the desk that Michaels sat at.
Plans for each episode begin on Monday in Creator of “SNL” Lorne Michaels’ office, where cast members, writers, and the host meet to pitch and discuss potential sketch ideas. Until recently, this was the desk that Michaels sat at for these meetings.
Following a day of writing on Tuesday, all of the written sketches are assessed at a read-through on Wednesday. This part of the exhibit recreated the read-through table, which is apparently always stocked with food.
Following a day of writing on Tuesday, all of the written sketches are assessed at a read-through on Wednesday. After the read-through, only a select number of sketches are chosen to be featured on the show. This part of the exhibit used a projector to recreate the read-through table, which is apparently always stocked with food.
Starting Wednesday night continuing on into Thursday, the show's set builders work on designing and building the sets that will be needed for that week's sketches. Here are some of the designs and notes from previous sets.
Starting Wednesday night and continuing on into Thursday, the show’s set builders work on designing and building the sets that will be needed for that week’s sketches. Here are some of the designs and notes from previous sets used on the show.
Wednesday and Thursday are also when the various costumes and prosthetic makeup pieces are created. In order to work more efficiently, each cast member and host has to get a plaster cast made of their face that the makeup artists can work off of. See if you recognize any of the faces pictured here.
Wednesday and Thursday are also when the various costumes and prosthetic makeup pieces are created. In order to work more efficiently, the cast members and host have plaster casts made of their faces so the makeup artists can work while they’re off rehearsing. See if you recognize any of recent cast members faces that were displayed here.
The exhibit had so many memorable costumes that brought back memories of all of the great characters "SNL" has featured.
The exhibit had so many memorable costumes that brought back memories of all of the great characters “SNL” has featured, like Stefon and Hanz and Franz.
Every scripted line in the show is written out on a cue card. Here is the full pile of cue cards used for a recent episode. That's a LOT of writing.
Since there is little time to memorize everything, every scripted line in the show is written out on a cue card. Here is the full pile of cue cards used for a recent episode. It’s a lot.
After a terrible car accident in June of 2014, it didn't seem entirely clear if Tracy Morgan would ever return to the "SNL" stage, or any stage for that matter. This cue card, used at the "SNL" 40th Anniversary Special that aired in February of 2015, addressed his absence. Luckily, he made a full recovery and as I mention earlier, hosted this week's show!
After a terrible car accident in June of 2014, it didn’t seem entirely clear if Tracy Morgan would ever return to the “SNL” stage, or any stage for that matter. This cue card was used at the “SNL” 40th Anniversary Special that aired in February of 2015, when Morgan was still healing. Luckily, he made a full recovery and as I mentioned earlier, hosted this week’s show!
A wide variety of people have hosted "SNL" over the years. Here's a thank you note from the Queen of Daytime TV herself, Oprah Winfrey, after she hosted in 1986.
A wide variety of people have hosted “SNL” over the years. Here’s a thank you note from the Queen of Daytime TV herself, Oprah Winfrey, after she hosted in 1986.
Countless incredible talents have made their way through "SNL's" hallowed halls, helping to make it the important comedy establishment that it is today.
Countless incredible talents have made their way through “SNL’s” hallowed halls, helping to make it the important comedy establishment that it is seen as today.

 

So there you have it, folks! A look into a week at “SNL” and “Saturday Night Live: The Exhibition.” Pretty impressive, right? Makes you want to watch an episode of “SNL” right now. Might I recommend this week’s episode, if you haven’t seen it already? Trust me, you’ll be OBSESSED.

 

Stay classy.

Jenn

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