Call for Papers: 'Saturday Night Live' - Comedians, Catchphrases, and (Occasional) Social Commentary

Will Saturday Night Live ever die?

Pitch Deadline: Monday, August 31st

Final Essay Deadline: Monday, September 21st

Please send pitches to: [email protected], cc: [email protected]

Email subject line: PopMatters / SNL – Still Alive

Like the late-night creature that it is, Saturday Night Live seems nearly unkillable. Started by Baby Boomers, reborn for a Gen X audience, and still watched by millennials, SNL has managed to stay, if not always relevant, at least on the air.

Seven presidents, two Iraq Wars, and numerous other sketch shows seeking the SNL crown have come and gone since George Carlin hosted the first episode in October 1975. What keeps a show—a comedy show, no less—around that long? The talent? The recurring characters, from Belushi’s Samurai to Cecily Strong’s “A One-Dimensional Female Character from a Male-Driven Comedy”? The commentary (and sometimes controversy) on the issues of the moment? Will SNL ever die? What is this constant human need that SNL feeds? (Or are we feeding it?)

With the 40th anniversary of the first show in mind (and SNL entering its 41st season), we're looking for smart (and we encourage funny) essays (min. 1,200 words) on:

SNL All-Stars: Will Ferrell, Eddie Murphy, Kristen Wiig, Gilda Radner, Bill Murray, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, etc., and how their work on SNL was instrumental to their careers

From the dead letter office: Forgotten parts of SNL (e.g., the Muppets/Jim Henson on SNL/Robert Downey Jr. and Anthony Michael Hall)

The evolution of Weekend Update: From Chevy Chase to Colin Jost

The Perils of Live: From Charlie Rocket’s F-Bomb to Sinead O’Connor’s papal smackdown

Dr. Evil: The cult of Lorne Michaels

“The most miserable experience of my life”: speculation as to why some performers don't catch on/flourish on SNL, regardless of talent (Janeane Garofalo, Casey Wilson)

Garrett, Cleghorne, and Morgan: SNL's minority representation problem

The Five-Timers Club: SNLs most popular hosts (Alec Baldwin, Steve Martin, Justin Timberlake)

What's all that noise? Music on SNL (from iconic musical performances, to disastrous performances, to the use of original and adapted music in skits, etc.)

The explosion of the digital shorts phenomenon, from “Dick in a Box” to “YOLO”

SNL's political voice and its ability to both skewer and influence

Shorts: 800 words or so, spotlighting certain recurring skits (Wayne's World, Celebrity Jeopardy, Matt Foley, Miley Cyrus Show, etc.)

Features are a minimum of 1,200 words long (no max.). We will consider shorter articles, which would include videos and songs, as well.

With special thanks to Jessica Suarez.

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