Student interns behind the scenes at SNL

Jess Wolk spends each week this semester working behind the scenes for NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.”

Wolk is a junior broadcasting, visual and interactive media student, concentrating in TV production.

She interns with the set design department and said she is amazed at the preparation involved in creating a show that lasts for only an hour.

“My favorite part of my internship is watching the show from when it is merely a bunch of sketch ideas to when it finally goes on air,” she said.

“It is amazing to see how such an amazing and complex show can be pulled together in literally one week,” she added.

Wolk says that the process of preparing the set for SNL is a science.

“They have been doing the same routine, for the most part, since the first show in 1975,” she said. “Monday through Wednesday, the writers and cast come up with multiple sketches, write the scripts and come up with costume and hair ideas.”

She also said that once the sketch ideas are finalized, she researches to see if what set would match the sketch.

Her normal routine includes “conducting all research for possible sets, answering phones, and occasionally helping move items around on the set,” she said.

According to Wolk, her internship is different from what she prefers because the job consists of waiting for others for a majority of the day.

“At SNL, there is a lot of waiting on other people,” she said. “You have to wait on the writers to get out the sketches, then wait for the producers to finalize the sketch ideas, then wait on the final scripts, then wait on the designers and the drawings, and so on and so forth.” She continued, “Although it is very different from what I am used to and prefer, it is a great experience to see how different channels and shows are run.”

Before interning at SNL, Wolk interned at MTV2 as an intern and later as a production assistant for the show “Ain’t That America.” She said she hopes to become a producer or an editor once she graduates.

“As a producer, it is important to understand how all departments are run, so I think that although my internship is not exactly what I am going to school for, it is definitely preparing me for the TV industry as a whole,” she said.

Kevin Scimecca can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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