Even Lorne Michaels Didn’t Know Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift Were Gonna Be on ‘SNL’
Lorne Michaels has kept a strict “no improvisation” policy on Saturday Night Live for the past half century ensuring that there will be no surprises between the final dress rehearsal and showtime. Then, this past Saturday, Taylor Swift showed up to Studio 8H for an impromptu appearance and broke Michaels’ rules like a box office record.
Fans of Swift and her current male companion, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, probably weren’t expecting to see the power couple on the most recent episode of SNL. And, apparently, neither did anyone at SNL, either — Swift and Kelce came to attend the live broadcast as audience members, presumably after having their assistants or publicists procure free front-row seats like any other Average Joe. The staff of SNL didn’t know about the couple’s attendance until moments before Swift and Kelce arrived at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, but the creative team quickly came up with easy ways to incorporate the pair’s appearance into the broadcast.
Kelce appeared at the end of a sketch that was, coincidentally, entirely about his and Swift’s involvement as well as the impact their relationships has had on coverage of the NFL, and Swift took over Pete Davidson’s duties in reintroducing the music act, her former collaborator Ice Spice. Predictably, the cameos caused an eruption of excitement from both in-studio Swifties and the online following as fans marveled at SNL’s ability to pull massive celebrity appearances out of thin air. Sometimes serendipity knocks on your door — and sometimes it’s Taylor Swift.
“No one knew they were coming, and they contacted (the show) a few minutes before arrival at air time,” an unnamed SNL staffer told Vanity Fair of Swift and Kelce’s appearance. By perfect happenstance, the very first sketch after Davidson’s monologue was about the NFL’s relationship with Taylormania, and despite the couple’s arrival after the final dress rehearsal, rewrites were immediately in order. “The second (Kelce) walked in, they mentioned the sketch and he said he was happy to join,” said the source. “They were happy to jump into some parts of the show when asked.”
Look at what SNL made them do.