Saturday Night Live’s legacy in the comedy industry is rarely questioned. But as researchers, we can question how to quantify and represent this legacy in terms of data. Starting with the concept of “Saturday Night Live films”, the franchises spun off from sketches on the late night show, we suggest a method of determining the SNL coefficient of a piece of media based on the presence and significance of current and former SNL cast members and writers in its creation. Sparking an intriguing conversation on the show’s legacy and the networks behind the scenes of today’s comedy industry, this data set also creates a wealth of SNL trivia for fans of the show. In this article, we dig into the filmographies of over 250 current and former SNL cast members and writers to understand how the show, in over nearly 50 years, spawned a quantifiable professional network of writers and performers that had manifested in multiple platforms (television, film, online content, etc.) as well as in multiple genres beyond comedy. And we’ll prove that Mean Girls should be remembered as an SNL feature film.
An early draft of the SNL Coefficient explanation can be found here: http://snl-coefficient.herokuapp.com/bokeh_movies