Whether it’s a concert or a show, live productions have always fascinated me. I’m always looking for ways to go behind the scenes and get a different perspective, such as being in the control room of a news broadcast opposed to watching it on TV.
Naturally, one of my all-time favorite shows is Saturday Night Live. I’m a sucker for comedy sketches (who doesn’t like to laugh?), and the concept of having revolving A-list celebrities as the host is just genius, in my opinion. (Talk about drawing in a wide range of audiences from week to week!) Plus, I appreciate the show’s integration of its weekly musical guest into sketches.
Because it’s a live production, SNL has the ability to capitalize on current events in its typical witty fashion. One of the show’s most notable examples is Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s infamous opening from 2008 posing as Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton. A personal favorite is a 2009 sketch about the Tiger Woods incident.
SNL goes beyond being “just” a weekly show on NBC. Entering its 40th year of being on air, SNL has become a pop culture staple. There’s no other show quite like it. But it doesn’t start and stop when the show goes live each Saturday. Throughout the week and during each 90-minute live broadcast, SNL’s social media lights up with a second-screen experience.
Starting at the beginning of the week, the cast and host have read-throughs and run-throughs with a dress rehearsal right before the live show. In addition, promos are shot to air throughout the week as well as digital shorts for the broadcast. If you pay close attention to SNL’s Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, you’ll get a one-of-a-kind, behind-the-scenes look at what is being prepared. The content is easy to follow across all channels because #LiveFrom8H is used, referencing the studio SNL goes live from. Leading up to the show, cast members send out posts of their own. Once 11:30 p.m. hits, it’s go time. SNL’s feeds blow up with content from backstage.
Blake Shelton recently hosted the show and throughout the week fans saw pictures of him sound checking, filming promos and even got a sneak peek at the set for his monologue. Hashtags, including #BlakeOnSNL and #SNLBackstage, were used to promote that weekend’s episode. (Blake’s team even did some promoting of their own.)
One of my favorite skits from a recent show was on Weekend Update with a character named Riblet, played by Bobby Moynihan. In real time, the show’s Instagram feed gave fans a behind-the-scenes look at Moynihan practicing his lines and posing backstage.
The key here is the second-screen experience is bolstered by content audiences can’t get anywhere else. It’s not simply an extension of the show – it’s new and interesting all on its own.
What kind of second-screen experiences have you been a part of?