Have you ever mistaken a Saturday Night Live ad parody for a real commercial?
If so, then chalk it up to the efforts of SNL staff and Crew Cuts, a New York creative-editing
company that works with the show to help make the fake spots.
“Editing contributes to comic timing,” said James Signorelli, SNL film producer and director.
Crew Cuts edits more than half of each season’s faux ads. Recent ones include “Gap Fat,”
a takeoff on the Gap’s West Side Story-themed spots, “Uncle Jemima,” in which an attention-seeking Uncle Jemima hawks his own brand of moonshine, and “Desire,” a parody of Victoria’s Secret commercials.
Chuck Willis, Crew Cuts partner/editor, said company staffers have contributed voiceovers, lines and acting to the spots.
Crew Cuts, which began working with SNL 14 years ago, has edited real commercials, Willis said, including ads for Pepsi, Nike, Visa and Pizza Hut. “Yet [the SNL work] is a different animal because it’s not about selling the product; it’s about humor.”
In addition, the bogus spots’ “quality of production and humor” helps to win over clients unaware of Crew Cuts’ SNL work, Willis said. Now that’s a way to be noticed. — Heidi Jacobs