On Wednesday, the 14th Tribeca Film Festival opened with “Live From New York!” – a documentary on the popular show, “Saturday Night Live.”
The documentary highlights the four decade-long journey of SNL and the cultural impact it has had on the country.
“Live From New York!” is the second SNL documentary. James Franco’s 2010 “Saturday Night” featured a behind-the-scenes view, from Tuesday’s table reads to performance night on Saturdays.
The film releases in June and features members and hosts of the show describing their experiences. According to Yahoo! News, Will Ferrell says the documentary is “a living, breathing time capsule,” while Amy Poehler says it is “a mishmash of America right now.”
The forty-year-old show has featured several parodies and political impersonations. Chevy Chase’s impersonation of President Gerald Ford is such a remarkable sketch that remains one of the most regarded imitations in the history of the show.
The film’s director, Bao Nguyen, who appeared on HuffPost Live on Wednesday, said, “Chevy Chase as Gerald Ford was kind of legendary, and some people look at that as kind of the greatest political impersonation, because he wasn’t actually impersonating the guy at all. He was just kind of fumbling around, doing his take on things, but he didn’t sound like President Ford at all.
“Now the idea of political impersonation has changed, where people think you have to exactly sound like that president or look like that president for you to get that caricature.”
Among the most recent parodies that attracted immense popularity and became the funniest sketch was Tina Fey’s impersonation of Sarah Palin. What made this bit funnier and memorable, according to Tom Broeker, SNL Costume Designer, was the resemblance between Fey’s and Palin’s voices.
Nguyen said that remarks made by Palin were used in Fey’s script.
“They would literally take interviews or clips that Sarah Palin was in, and they would repeat exactly what she said, and that’s really not making fun of someone, but kind of seeing the comedy within the news clip itself,” he said.
Kate McKinnon and Bobby Moynihan, SNL members, attended the film’s premiere, along with notable political figures like former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
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