The first-ever digital marathon of “Saturday Night Live” sketches — including skits from the current season — will be coming to Twitch over a three-day span leading up to the season 43 finale on NBC this Saturday.
The programming stunt on Twitch will include a total of 16 hours of popular “SNL” sketches dating from the show’s inception to current episodes. Those will be streamed back-to-back-to-back for free on the service for 48 hours, beginning Thursday, May 17, at 6 p.m. ET on twitch.tv/twitchpresents.
For NBC, the pact with Amazon-owned Twitch is designed to promote tune-in to the “SNL” season finale on May 19, featuring host Tina Fey and musical guest Nicki Minaj. The sketches on Twitch will include highlights from the current season and a collection of sketches with Fey (a former “SNL” head writer), along with classic segments, ad parodies, impressions and digital shorts. Also in the mix will be some sketches with Drake from his 2016 “Saturday Night Live” appearance; he recently helped break Twitch’s live-streaming record for concurrent viewers on a single creator channel when he joined Ninja to play “Fortnite.”
Twitch is staging the “SNL” marathon as part of its strategy to broaden its content purview live video-game broadcasts — and leverage its base of millions of users to engage in social viewing of non-video-game programming. Under the deal with NBCUniversal, Twitch creators will be able to co-stream the “SNL” sketch marathon while adding their own commentary.
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Over the past few years, Twitch has run more than a dozen similar marathons, including for “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” “Power Rangers,” and — in an especially eccentric choice — Julia Child’s “The French Chef” cooking show.
“Each ‘SNL’ sketch is a snapshot of its time, making it the ideal show to unite our global community across generations as they comment on the commentary,” said Jane Weedon, Twitch’s director of business development.
NBC’s “SNL” is produced in association with Broadway Video and executive produced by show creator Lorne Michaels.