Behind the scenes of the history of Saturday Night Live’s pre-taped films

It’s easy to forget that for its entire history, Saturday Night Live, from 1975-2019, has included films that were not, in fact, live.

This great piece from SNL showcases the film unit, and what it takes to make funny short films in only a few days. Colon Blow! Happy Fun Ball! Synchronized swimming! All before The Lonely Island changed the game, and now SNL has three full-time film units working on pre-taped bits and sketches. This is the story of how they only get to start after the Wednesday night table reads, and somehow pull it all together in time for Saturday night TV.

Roll it!

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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