About the Project

Our project takes the long-running variety sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live and considers its potential impact on media production (ie. films, television, podcasts, etc.) While not an individual, Saturday Night Live has functioned as a consistent entity in American entertainment as the longest-running sketch comedy show on American television, as well as the longest-running variety show in U.S. history. [^2] Much has written about SNL stars’ success and fame, as well as the show’s impact in the political realm, but less so on the cast’s influence within the comedy industry. In order to focus on the potential impact of the show on media production, we have developed the SNL Coefficient, inspired by the concept of the Erdös/Bacon numbers, but finding connections between pieces of media (ie. a film and SNL) rather than two professionals in the field. Through data visualization and analysis, we hope to get a better understanding of the influence of the show.

The code for this project is hosted on GitHub.

About the Authors

Emily Esten is a pop culture fanatic with a background in digital scholarship. Esten has worked on a number of creative projects with libraries, museums, and nonprofits interested in data literacy, publishing, and community building. Reach her on Twitter at @sheishistoric and on Mastadon at @estene@hcommons.social

Kathrine Esten is a longtime fan of Saturday Night Live who loves using historical scholarship as an excuse to indulge in fandom. She works in academic publishing and public policy. Reach her on Twitter at @KathrineEsten.

Special Thanks

Special thanks to colleagues at the Center for Research Data and Digital Scholarship at University of Pennsylvania Libraries and the Price Lab for Digital Humanities at the University of Pennsylvania for supporting the data collection and analysis as a professional development project.

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