Why Is 'Saturday Night Live' Thanked In The 'Inside Out' Credits?

This weekend, when you sit down to see Inside Out, you'll probably be a little too blown away to get up once the credits start to roll. And if you stay for the credits, you'll notice Lorne Michaels and Saturday Night Live are given special thanks. Speaking to director Pete Docter and producer Jonas Rivera, I asked why that was. The Inside Out team spent a week on the set of the show learning how seemingly spontaneous entertainment works for a specific sequence in the film. Read more about the Inside Out Saturday Night Live connection below.

Minor spoilers for Inside Out follow.

In the film, there's a scene where Fear (Bill Hader) is controlling Riley as she sleeps so he gets to watch her dreams. Her dreams are created at Dream Productions, which is a huge movie studio where they create Riley's dreams on the fly. Bill Hader picked up the story at the press conference. He was visiting Pixar when he got approached:

They didn't tell me about the movie. [They said] "There is a scene in the movie that deals with a live television element. We'd like to come to SNL." And I said, "Come to SNL." And they hung out at SNL for a week for reference of that sequence and so they let me come and hang out at Pixar as a thank you.

Rivera explained to /Film why they thought visiting SNL was so important:

There was a little bit of "We're fans of anything that's show business". And Bill tied it to Dream Productions, which is true. We wanted to see how that worked. But the other thing is we wanted to get was the sense of spontaneity. I mean, animation is so glacially done and slow. And you have to really engineer anything spontaneous. It's a myth of spontaneity. Going to Saturday Night Live, I think, really helped fuel that. Where you see they sit down with a blank slate on, you know, Monday or whatever and then Saturday night there's a show.

And so we were really inspired at how fast they go, how quick, that rapport they have. And we were trying to [figure out] "How do we infuse that? What's animation's version of that?" Part of that's in the casting and the writing that these guys did. But I think we thanked Lorne because he was very kind to us, didn't probably have to give us the free pass to run around. And he spoke with us and gave us advice. So he was very nice to us and we appreciated the access.

Inside Out opens June 19. Read the rest of our interviews with Bill Hader, Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera soon.