28 Days of Story Ideas, #5: ‘Saturday Night Live’ & the Party AFTER the Party

A new report in The New York Times breaks down one of the most storied elements embedded within the long run of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live”: the show’s after-party.

According to the Times, “[T]he “SNL” after-party, now almost four decades into its run and much of that time with the reputation as the coolest party in town, has always been a little ersatz: a conception of an exclusive showbiz bacchanal based on the lore of the good old wild days, when the only thing that would break up this party was the coming of dawn or the depletion of the night’s supply of mind-altering substances.”

The connective tissue between SNL and academia can be found in the descriptions tossed about in the graf above: Coolest. Exclusive. Wild. Coming of the Dawn. And Mind-Altering Substances.


Bottom line, parties are great (and dangerous and mind-altering and loud and at times broken up by police and featured on page one of the student paper). But what about the after-parties? Within higher ed, they are storied traditions in their own right among the undergrad set. And they deserve an intimate profile.

So in the near future, stay up late. Set out to capture how students come down from their wild weekend (and Thursday) nights. Where are students’ hangout spots and what are their activities after the bars and clubs close but before sleep overwhelms? What’s the focus of their conversations? What are they chowing down while they chat? What are their opinions of the social scenes in which they were just taking part? And what are their takes on the world, the school and their futures in the wee hours of the morning, when moments of clarity, tiredness or sobering up often enable truth to prevail?

In a related sense, beyond student socializers, who and what is still in operation on campus during the after-party time period? Specifically, what are the experiences of campus security officers, RAs, overnight cleaning crews and campus shuttle drivers? And how do those experiences compare to ones they engaged in during their younger days?

5For more ideas, check out 1 Million Story Ideas for Student Journalists, a quick-hit, unending, hopefully indispensable, fun, fun, fun digital story ideas fountain.

Also order a copy of my book Journalism of Ideas: Brainstorming, Developing, and Selling Stories in the Digital Age. Dubbed “the next new mandatory text for college journalists,” it features advice from hundreds of contributors, lots of digital storytelling tips, tons of story ideas and more than 300 games aimed at sparking you to come up with endless ideas of your own.




28 Days of Story Ideas, #1: Beyonce, Jay-Z & ‘Celebrity Courses’

28 Days of Story Ideas, #2: Super Bowl Commercials & College Ad Campaigns

28 Days of Story Ideas, #3: Groundhog Day & the College Routine

28 Days of Story Ideas, #4: A Postal Holiday & Some Campus Mail Fun

1 Million Story Ideas for Student Journalists

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