For 35 years, audiences have been tuning in to watch some of Hollywood’s most talented up-and-comers perform in live, on-air comedy sketches in the form of NBC’s Saturday Night Live. And while the show has become etched into the collective brain of American pop culture, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the show’s sheer star power and overlook the incredible feats that take place behind-the-scenes in order to ensure that things run smoothly.
Unless, of course, you’re a Full Sail student, and you’re watching with those sort of things in mind. Students got a first-hand account of what it’s like on the set at 30 Rock during a visit from Jan Kasoff, a former NBC cameraman who spent 26 years on SNL.
Kasoff spoke to students in the Entertainment Business Auditorium about what life was like on the set, including the rundown of the typical SNL work week, the challenges that he faced operating on-air (after 26 years on the show, he’s experienced his fair share of twists and turns – including musical guest Sinead O’Connor’s controversial, Pope picture-ripping performance in 1992), and some insider trivia about life on-set (according to Kasoff, working on SNL is a surefire way to gain weight, thanks to the show’s practice of encouraging crew to stay in the studio for meals and constantly keeping food in the studio).
Kasoff also showed students switcher footage from past shows that displayed the control room and gave a sense of how the shots are called during the actual broadcast. He also answered questions from students during an open Q&A session at the end of the presentation.