Saturday, March 7, 2009

Fair-Weather Fans Wait in Line for SNL

Socked feet waving in the air, j├Ąger shots being poured and the clicks of poker chips, all normally found at drunken sleep-over parties, were seen at Rockefeller Place among the students and young adults waiting for Saturday Night Live tickets on a warm night that hinted at spring’s arrival after a painfully cold winter.

Fans wait in line through Friday night to receive stand-by tickets for the Saturday Night Live’s rehearsal and live show 7:00 a.m. Saturday morning. The cold, windy, rainy and snowy conditions of the past months have deterred fans from lining up to see Saturday Night Live. With the arrival of spring, more fans are sprouting from the sidewalk to try to catch the cast and guests in a live performance.

“The warm weather helped a lot in deciding to come,” said Mia Gomez, a freshman at Marymount Manhattan College. Hailing from Texas the past few months have been her first true winter experience. She enjoyed the snow but “hated walking to and from class,” especially on the day when she “couldn’t feel her face.”

“I wouldn’t be here tonight if the weather was that cold,” she said. “I love Ray LaMontagne, but not that much.” The coldest temperature Mia would wait through is 25 degrees. Cold weather prevented Mia from seeing her hero, Steve Martin guest host in January. “It was 2 degrees outside and I just couldn’t do it, I wish I could have,” said Mia.

“I came because of Ray LaMontagne,” said Caitlin Boag, Mia’s friend and another freshman from Marymount. She has waited through below zero temperatures for concerts but wouldn’t endure wintry conditions for Saturday Night Live. “I would never be here if it were freezing, not for SNL, not for Ray,” she said, but, “it’s so much easier because it’s warm out.”

Other fans were more explicit in their distaste for waiting in line during wintry weather. “I would never come in the middle of winter. I have a brain,” said Preston, a junior at St. John’s University. He looked comfortable in a folding chair, sweatshirt and jacket.

The warm weather, for Preston, was a main reason to wait for SNL. “I don’t care about the Rock and I don’t even know the musical guest,” he said.
John, Preston’s friend, agreed. “I wasn’t doing anything and the weather was nice. I didn’t feel like getting drunk so I came here,” he said. They brought homework to help the several hours of waiting to pass more quickly. Neither would wait through cold or snow but “I’d come again if we had the free time and the weather was nice,” said Preston.

While most of the people waiting in line came—or were helped in coming—by the warm weather others did come because of the hosts. “I came only because the Rock’s here,” said May Steinberg, a junior at the Fashion Institute of Technology. “I’ve had a crush on him since I was 11 and I’m almost 21, so that’ almost 10 years,” she added.

May knows what it is like to wait in line during cold weather too. She waited in line to see Rainn Wilson guest host two years ago and remembers it being 5 degrees that night. “It was really cold, really bitter cold. I felt like I’d almost died,” she said. Such severe weather would have prevented her from waiting to see the Rock guest host. “I wouldn’t come again in weather like that, even for him. It could kill me and if I died I couldn’t like him anymore,” she said.

Even so, some fans of Saturday Night Live will wait through any conditions to see their favorite stars host. “I waited through the snow and sleet to see Ellen Page last year,” said Morgan Collins, a sophomore at New York University. “Even though it was freezing and probably made me sick it was worth it and I would do it again,” he added. Morgan wasn’t in line to see the Rock but has gone to Saturday Night Live several times. “The host, sometimes the musical guest, is more important than the weather,” he said.

On the night of Friday, March 6, 2009 the overnight low was 36 degrees and at 1:00 am the temperature read 51 degrees. Saturday Night Live was unable to verify the seasonal trend but the fans’ testimonies speak strongly toward the idea that warmer nights lead to more fans waiting in line for the show.