The Saturday Night Live Museum: Chicago

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The Mumble welcome Emily Reilly to the team with a wicked piece of on-the-spot reporting in The Windy City

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Saturday Night Live has always been quite near and dear to my heart; if there’s one thing I’m a nerd about, it’s this show. So, it was truly fitting that I spent my valentine’s day date at a place I’m newly in love with– the temporary SNL museum in Chicago, ‘SNL: The Experience.’ Located at 360 N State St, you’ll find that the tickets are reasonably priced for the inside look at a show with so much history and humor. Here were a few of my favorite parts.

The Full Schedule: Not only are there famous wigs, costumes, and scripts, but each room of the museum serves as a day of the week at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, and shows how the day-to-day madness ensues. It displays where the episode is at in the production process on each day. For instance, Tuesdays include long nights that writers spend hours thinking of pitch ideas for the dreaded Wednesday meeting with Lorne and the host. The Tuesday room had videos of famous writers, like Seth Meyers, talking about this day in particular, as well as a glass case full of scripts from over the years, included some from as early as the 70’s. I was having a moment.

The Glamour: With all the character transformations on SNL, it makes for lots of wigs, head moulds, and allllllll kinds of props to make the characters look believable. It was interesting to see all the designated elements for the hilarious characters that famous alum used to wear–especially the iconic cone head.

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BPYdOWqyQ466f2wRSAJYWwThe Costumes: We were joined by all of the classics from SNL history at this museum, Stefon’s wedding outfit (YES!), the church lady’s dress (isn’t that special?), and even the suit from Alec Baldwin’s uncanny Donald Trump impersonation. There were so many more that you should check out for yourself because this part of the museum was surreal. I felt like I was entering a forbidden Taiwanese Temple or something. Seriously, it was so cool.

The Final Part: After visiting a replica of the control room (which also felt very real, there was a countdown board to the special SNL episode for museum goers only.) The nutshell SNL episode was short and sweet to sum up the museum, and to send off those just finishing the tour. There were very few other people there when I went on a weekday, so it made this experience even cooler. After the mini show, they encouraged a fun photoshoot behind the recreated ‘weekend update’ desk. I was in heaven.

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Conclusion: This was by far, the best museum I have ever visited. I only mentioned a fraction of the memorabilia, props, costumes, quotes, videos, set pieces, and SNL artifacts that caught my eye on every floor; there are so many more I didn’t mention. It’s funny because we were actually about to do the art institute for the 288343476th time. Luckily, my search recommended this gem, and suddenly there was a day I’ll never forget. In other words, DO THIS WHILE IT’S HERE!

Emily Reilly


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