Meet the man behind ‘Saturday Night Live’ in Edwards at Battle Mountain High School on Feb. 22 |

Meet the man behind ‘Saturday Night Live’ in Edwards at Battle Mountain High School on Feb. 22

"Saturday Night Live" continues to push the boundaries of television. With the show on a hiatus due to Winter Olympics coverage, the Vail Symposium presents the show's producer Don Roy King.
Associated Press | NBC

If you go ...

What: Thursday Night Live with SNL’s Don Roy King.

Where: Battle Mountain High School, Edwards.

When: Thursday, March 22, 6 p.m.

Cost: $25 and $10.

More information: Visit

Editor’s note: Dale Mosier is the chairman of the Board of Directors for the Vail Symposium.

don Roy King shares behind-the-scenes stories of television’s favorite Saturday night show.

For more than 40 years, “Saturday Night Live” has made audiences laugh, cheer and think with its witty parodies, clever skits, big-name hosts and live music. Lorne Michaels was the originator of the series and is now executive producer, but for the past 12 seasons, he has partnered with Don Roy King, the show’s director.

King had a great career before coming to SNL, but he is best known professionally for his career as director of SNL. He has been nominated every year for an Emmy and has won seven years of the 12. He was also nominated for the Outstanding Directorial Achievement by the Directors Guild of America and won in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

He clearly has the most experience of directing live TV programs of anyone. From what I understand, SNL has, by far, the most truly live content of any show on major primetime TV. The pressures of a live program are so much different than that of a taped program. Lines that are changed on the fly, cast members who can’t keep a straight face — all of these things can happen on live television, which just adds to the audience’s experience.

This is all part of the fast pace as the writers and cast are constantly evolving the skits to address timely issues and make these pieces the best they can be. They start fresh each Wednesday and, within just a few days, the show airs live on Saturday night.

I recently had the opportunity to see King honored at Penn State for his phenomenal career in “live entertainment.” He brought the house down with his great sense of humor and expansive stories of how “Saturday Night Live” operates and behind-the-scenes insights, including the way many famous actors and actresses struggle with the fast repartee and live filming.

Even though he is not a skier, King agreed to come to Vail during the Olympics as SNL is currently on hiatus due to the Olympics coverage. He has said that SNL is “the most exciting job I could ever imagine” and “the perfect show for me at the perfect time in my life.” He exudes that passion and enthusiasm when he talks about SNL. His presentation will be a highlight of the Vail Symposium’s winter season.

King will be presenting at Battle Mountain High School on Thursday night, Feb. 22, at 6 p.m. This will be a show that guests of all ages will enjoy and learn a lot about this unique form of show business.

As part of his talk, there will be ample video footage and a Q-and-A session with the audience after his presentation, so be sure to bring your questions about your favorite SNL skit, parody or actor.

We look forward to seeing you then.

Support Local Journalism

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User