Live From The Web, It
Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels and NBC are working on a Web-video site dedicated to the iconic sketch show. The site would allow fans to download individual sketches, clips, and even dress rehearsal skits that never aired.
Broadcasting & Cable is reporting that plans are still in the early stages, and that the idea is inspired by the success of SNL sketches on Hulu. Likely, popularity on YouTube has been a driving factor, too, though the corporate line probably wouldn’t allow them to mention that.
The first SNL/YouTube phenom that comes to mind is “Lazy Sunday,” which sparked a lot of tension between SNL and YouTube, just ahead of the Viacom lawsuit. When the video’s popularity proved to be a boon to SNL—after years of steady decline—NBC was less vigilant about taking it down.
In fact, since then SNL’s Andy Samberg has produced regular short video pieces intended for the Web, with varying degrees of quality. One involving a Justin Timberlake and a box was a pretty nice addition to the comedy scene, though.
It will be interesting to see if expanded video presence on the Web will continue to fuel TV viewing on Saturday nights. More fun will be access to classic SNL sketches and classic casts—the eras between Eddie Murphy and Phil Hartman, and between Will Ferrell and the present excluded, obviously.
Now that the political season has boosted SNL’s ability to hang onto Tina Fey for a little while longer, post-election SNL producers should probably work on actually being funny.