Before the show starts, the SNL band warms up and they play a few songs. It got the crowd super pumped up and the band is extremely talented. Keenan Thompson eventually came out and performed a song with Kate McKinnon, Cecily Strong, and Melissa Villaseñor. I was so excited to see Kate McKinnon, she’s my current favorite SNL cast member because she’s so weird and gives 100% to any character she plays. It was also neat seeing Keenan Thompson because he’s been on the show since basically forever. I remember watching him on the SNL when I was in 7th grade (and he was also on Nickelodeon’s sketch comedy show for kids called All That! in the 90’s which I was also a fan of back in the day.)
After Keenan, Kate, Cecily, and Melissa performed, Michael Che came out and ran through some safety instructions and told a few jokes. He got the crowd pumped up and excited for the show. While all this was going on, the crew was setting up for the show – people were running around adjusting cameras, sets, getting cue cards ready – tt’s insane how many people are apart of the process.
Eventually it was time for the show to start and the audience got REAL quiet. You can hear the countdown to the show, “We’ve got one minute! We’ve got 45! 30 seconds! 5, 4, 3, 2, and !” and before you knew it, the show was starting. Jason Aldean, the country star who was performing during the Las Vegas shooting, opened SNL with a Tom Petty cover. Aldean has VERY tiny little legs, but he put on a great performance. Lorne Michaels was watching sternly from the side of the stage, chewing gum. He was paying attention to every little detail going on during the performance.
During SNL’s opening credits, there were SO MANY PEOPLE going around getting things ready for the host’s opening monologue. They managed to removed the instruments used for Jason Aldean’s performance so quickly, yet when the opening credits started mentioning the featured players – which are listed at the end of the credits – I started getting stressed out for them thinking like, how are they going to be able to clear the stage before the show begins?!? But it was all good, they made it and Gal Gadot came out on stage. She was taller than I expected. It was really cool – her episode was being broadcasted LIVE in Israel – where she’s from – for the first time ever. So that was pretty cool! It was interesting to see how the cameras and microphones were set up in the studio during the show and how they moved them throughout the night.
We were sitting right in front of the sound booth, so you could hear them getting frantic if something wasn’t working the way it was suppose to. Right before Sam Smith was suppose to perform, one of his instruments wasn’t set to the right volume. It was 20 seconds before air time and you could hear the panic in the sound guy’s voice but as soon as it was time for him to perform, everything was working the way it was suppose to.
Watching the skits was awesome! There’s so many behind the scene things you don’t see on tv. Watching the cast read the cue cards was interesting because they’d change things last minute. In the Wonder Woman island skit, Gal Galdot said the line, “Rest your head on my tits” but her cue card said ‘breasts’. Seeing little changes like that reminded me that this show is recorded LIVE and things change.
Another instance of things you don’t realize are the costumes. The cast isn’t just wearing regular t-shirts or costumes, they’re modified so they can change as quick as possible. In the Jamba Juice Mirage skit featuring Keenan Thompson, Beck Bennett, Gal Gadot, Kyle Mooney, Leslie Jones, and and Mikey Day, the Jamba Juice Guys (Kyle Mooney and Mikey Day) are wearing what you think are regular orange t-shirts. On the backs of their shirts though, they were velcro’d so they could easily be removed during the skit.
At the end of the show when the cast is getting ready to say goodnight on stage, Lorne high-fives or hugs the cast.
My hands were sore after the show because of all the clapping. You clap before clips, you clap after, you sometimes clap during, and you clap for a good 3 minutes or longer at the end of the show when they’re rolling the credits. I’ve never clapped that much in my life. It’s just SO much clapping.
We wanted to stay at the studio after the show to see if we could say hi to any of the cast members, but it was already after one in the morning. Unfortunately, we had a little bit of a walk back to our hotel and we had to be up at 4:45ish in the morning to catch out flight. We decided it was be best to try and get a little bit of sleep for a day full of plane rides and driving.
Seeing SNL in person was something that was at the top of my bucket list and something I NEVER thought I’d get to experience! It was amazing and I’m so thankful that I was able to go on this adventure and explore New York City again for a few days. I hope I can see SNL again and camp out for stand-by tickets, because that would definitely be an experience! Now try and get a job working for SNL…
Read part one here of my SNL Experience here.
Read about my NYC Trip here.
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