Since Saturday Night Live was a rerun again last night, we don’t have a recap to dissect and throw figurative poop at today, but thanks to my morning snoopery, I came across this interesting Plum TV interview with Mary-Ellen Matthews from 2011. Matthews has been the show’s photographer since 1999, and she’s the person responsible for the show’s iconic celebrity host photographs that take us to and welcome us back from commercial breaks, like the image of Louis CK that you can see above.
Matthews, who took over for photographer Edie Baskin after serving as her assistant for six years, pulled back the curtain on what goes into creating these fun images, and basically she shoots the hosts in wacky poses in front of a white screen and adds the unique colors and sometimes the props after the fact. While it’s not exactly rocket science, it is a fun look at one artist’s process, as some of her subjects make her job way too easy.
For example, she talked about how all it took to get Ashton Kutcher be his typically quirky self was a stool and fake rat. SNL returns in two weeks with host Zach Galifianakis and musical guest Of Monsters and Men, but in the meantime, we can admire or complain about Matthews’ work from the last 13 years.