“If you had a good show you’re on cloud nine,” said Jon Lovitz, who had a lot of them in the mid–1980s. On the other hand, Mr. Lovitz recalled the forlorn night when he had appeared in only one sketch, and was sitting at the party with Phil Hartman, Dana Carvey and Mike Myers.

“It feels like your career’s over,” Mr. Lovitz said. “Honestly, they call it the after-party. In my mind, I only know one time when it actually felt like a party.” (That was in 1990, he said, when Technotronic played their hit “Pump Up the Jam” there.)

Paul Brownfield, in The New York Times, investigating Saturday Night Live’s legendary after-party—and whether it’s actually fun. Read more on SNL in the Longreads Archive, or check out the Live from New York oral history.


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