Museum to bring ‘Saturday Night Live: The Experience’ to Chicago

Saturday Night Live: The Experience

Saturday Night Live: The Experience, an immersive multimedia exhibition taking visitors behind the scenes of the late-night comedy series and celebrating its phenomenal success over more than four decades on NBC, is coming to Chicago.

Steve Martin’s King Tut headdress, Eddie Murphy’s Mr. Robinson cardigan, Dana Carvey’s Church Lady dress, Bill Murray’s lounge singer jacket, the Coneheads, the Killer Bees and many other iconic costumes will be on display along with hundreds of other original sets, props and scripts.

Tickets will go on sale Friday for the exhibition, which opens a long run October 21 at Chicago's Museum of Broadcast Communications at 360 North State Street. They’re $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and students. Children under 12 are free.

“We are thrilled to have the Museum of Broadcast Communications chosen as the next home of Saturday Night Live: The Experience,” Larry Wert, museum chairman, said in announcing the debut Wednesday. “It is a perfect fit for Chicago since countless actors and writers cut their comedic chops here before being discovered by SNL, and we are going to have a lot of fun with this. 'Saturday Night Live' has never been hotter and we are excited to add this to the historic significance of the museum.”

The 12,000 square-foot exhibit chronicles the history of the show while taking visitors through a typically hectic weekly schedule. “Ten immersive galleries bring visitors into the office of executive producer Lorne Michaels, the writers room, control room and more, highlighted by more than 500 authentic artifacts,” according to the organizers. “The experience concludes with a full-scale replica recreation of SNL's longtime home in New York, Studio 8H in Rockefeller Center. “

Launched in celebration of the 40th anniversary of “Saturday Night Live” in 2015, Saturday Night Live: The Experience ran for one year in New York. Chicago will mark the second stop on its national tour.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Museum of Broadcast Communications to connect visitors with the backstory of the show and offer them the opportunity to relive the most laughable moments and sketches,” said Mark Lach, creative director of Premier Exhibitions. “Saturday Night Live: The Experience goes even further to give people a sense of what it’s like to be part of the creative team, and the frenetic schedule and pace involved with each weekly episode. It can look so effortless on TV, but this exhibition illustrates that a lot of hard work and preparation undoubtedly goes into each and every laugh.”

Premier Exhibitions also presented Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, Tutankhamun: and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs, BODIES...The Exhibition, Extreme Dinosaurs and others.