Saturday Night Live: A Week Behind the Scenes
Day 1: Pitch and Promos
After host Kevin Hart and the entire cast cram into executive producer Lorne Michaels's office to pitch initial sketch ideas (some hilarious, many harebrained), cast member Aidy Bryant and Hart shoot promotional videos for that week.
Day 2: Table Read
It's been a long night for the cast and writers, who stayed up writing sketches. At the next day's table read they all join Michaels and Hart in the writers' room to go through some 60 different scripts. Only a select few make the cut.
Day 3: Run Through
Aaand action! Kenan Thompson and Hart take to the Studio 8H stage for a dry run of their James Brown sketch, one that survives all the way to the live taping.
Day 3: Right on Cue
On SNL, lines can change up until the very last minute. Here Hart gets guidance from producers and ever-ready cue card operators.
Day 4: Backstage Secrets
Cast members Kate McKinnon and Taran Killam show off the "Watch Your Head Farley" sign that's affixed to a low overhang where former SNL star Chris Farley would repeatedly (accidentally) hit his noggin.
Day 4: The Prop Room
"If properly constructed, which it was by the great makeup artist Michael Thomas, you could wear it for a day or two without any problem," Dan Aykroyd tells PEOPLE of his famous Conehead prosthetic (shown here in a replica).
Day 5: Makeup Magic
Cast member Pete Davidson preps to get pretty ahead of Saturday night's big dress rehearsal. The cast does a full rehearsal in front of a live audience, then cuts some of the sketches before returning to shoot the live show.
Day 5: Wigging Out
Blonde, brunette or redhead? Each cast member has a designated glam squad for quick changes. Here McKinnon gets ready in front of an array of custom wigs she'll wear during the show. The SNL hairstylists have over 1,000 hairpieces stored up!
Day 5: It's Show Time
Thompson and Davidson get the show started with a Martin Luther King/Selma skit that receives big laughs.
Day 5: Ending on a High Note
The night’s musical guest, Sia, tops off a hilarious episode with a moving mime-assisted performance of her hit song "Chandelier."