When I heard they were designing a special museum dedicated to this American institution, I had to make a trip up to New York to see it for myself. While the real television show is filmed at Rockefeller Center, Saturday Night Live The Exhibition is a few blocks away on 5th Avenue.
After a brief pre-show hosted by Alec Baldwin chronicling some of the highlights of SNL’s 40-year history, visitors are taken on a red carpet journey through a recreation of Studio 8H.
Instead of covering SNL year by year, Saturday Night Live The Exhibition gives guests a glimpse into what it’s like to bring the show to the air live every Saturday night at 11:30. Each section of the museum represents what the process is like from script writing to revisions, read through, dress rehearsals and finally going live on Saturday night.
Even recreations of entire sets that you can explore!
They even have recreations of entire sets like this one from Wayne’s World!
Or, easily my favorite sketch of all time, Celebrity Jeopardy!
There are dozens of costumes scattered around Saturday Night Live The Exhibition, like these worn by Andy Samberg and Justin Timberlake.
There is also a great deal of behind-the-scenes footage you won’t find anywhere else. Like a video of Taran Killam getting makeup for a sketch parodying The Office and Lord of The Rings.
One of my favorite parts of the museum were candid photos of the SNL cast over the years backstage at Studio 8H. Some really great moments caught on film.
You even get to sit in a recreation of the control room and feel what it’s like to see the show through the eyes of the editors and directors.
The finale of Saturday Night Live The Exhibition takes place in a recreation of the infamous SNL stage where you get to sit in the audience. Tina Fey recorded a special monologue just for the tour and through multimedia, you can see how the set is being transformed constantly to prepare for the next sketch as one is filmed.
If you’re a fan of SNL, you have to get your butt down to visit Saturday Night Live The Exhibition. Far more than a passive museum, it truly embodies the spirit of the show and give you a new appreciation of what it takes to make it to 11:30 pm every Saturday night. Out of all the attractions I have visited in New York, Saturday Night Live The Exhibition is on the top of my must do list! I will be back. For more info and tickets, visit www.snltheexhibition.com!
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