WATCH: SNL Goes Backstage with Cue Card Department

It takes a village to mount a weekly production like Saturday Night Live, and cue cards are one of the most integral parts of it all.

Now the show is offering a rare glimpse at the cue card team at work during last weekend’s episode hosted by Dua Lipa in a new “Beyond Studio 8H” video posted to the show’s YouTube channel.

SNL famously relies on cue cards to guide its performers through a scene. Because script changes happen so often—right up until showtime—the performers can’t fully memorize anything in advance. These constant edits—and the show’s live nature—also mean an entire team is needed to update the cards by hand with every change. 

Among the faces featured in the backstage video is one that viewers may recognize. Wally Feresten, the supervisor of the team, has worked on Saturday Night Live since 1990, and began appearing in bits on camera shortly after. 

When SNL alum Seth Meyers took over Late Night in 2014, Feresten became the cue card handler for that show as well. On Late Night, Meyers has made “Cue Card Wally” a recurring character. 

Fans can even purchase personalized cue cards from Feresten on his website.

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