VOTD: How 'Saturday Night Live' Quickly Crafts Pre-Recorded Sketches In Just A Few Days

The novelty of the landmark late night sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live is that it's performed live on Saturday night in Studio 8H in 30 Rockefeller Plaza. But even though most of the show is done in front of a live studio audience, there are a handful of pre-recorded sketches that make it to air. What's impressive is that these professional video productions, which include the famous SNL Digital Shorts, are completed in the window of just a few days. Learn all about the making of SNL Digital Shorts, commercial parodies, and other pre-recorded sketches in an extensive documentary short below.

Making of SNL Digital Shorts

The film unit is responsible for all the pre-recorded material on SNL, and that includes the opening titles, teasers for the upcoming episodes, and of course, the sketches that aren't live. This goes all the way back to the early days of Saturday Night Live's commercial parodies, but that slowly evolved into crafting comedic short films, all in a variety of formats and styles.

The reason these sketches are pre-recorded instead of live is because they're usually trying to achieve a tone or style that can't easily be done live. It's usually when there's a film or music video parody that needs a signature look, a premise that requires a little more production value, or just more meticulous and precise editing for the sake of comedy.

What's great about this documentary short is that it shows you some of the directors behind these pre-recorded sketches and tells you some of their most famous pieces for SNL. It's a bit of a longer watch, but for any SNL fans out there, it's worth it. Also, be sure to keep up with our SNL reviews whenever there's a new episode. There are only three episodes left in the current 44th season, so stay tuned.