An SNL Digital Short is one in a series of comedic and often musical video shorts created for airing on NBC's Saturday Night Live, generally produced and written by The Lonely Island (Jorma Taccone, Akiva Schaffer and Andy Samberg), though originated by Adam McKay, in collaboration with SNL hosts, writers, and cast members. The segments were originally recorded with consumer grade digital video cameras and edited on personal computers. It is usual for the episode's hosts and musical guests (the latter on rarer occasions) to take part in the episode's short, and several shorts have included celebrity cameos.
The shorts generally took fewer than five days to complete. Akiva Schaffer has directed a majority of the shorts, with Taccone as occasional director or co-director. In early 2010, Schaffer took a break from SNL to work on a film, and Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! director Jonathon Krisel joined the show as a regular Digital Short director. Taccone, along with his brother, Asa, have produced music for the shorts as necessary. As of January 2013, SNL has aired 102 digital shorts, 26 of which are performed by The Lonely Island. This is not including the ten multiple part MacGruber sketches and some others that were not branded as "SNL Digital Shorts". Many of the musical shorts were remastered and released in The Lonely Island's albums, Incredibad and Turtleneck & Chain, or created specifically for the albums and then featured in shorts during the 2008–2009 and subsequent seasons. As of September 2011, Schaffer and Taccone are no longer staff writers at SNL. Taccone continued to help direct the shorts and receives credit accordingly, this season's shorts have been written by Samberg along with help from many SNL staff writers including Erik Kenward and John Mulaney. Many of the shorts that are not directed by Taccone are directed by SNL staff writer John Solomon. Solomon frequently helped write many shorts and co-wrote MacGruber along with Taccone.
With the departure of Samberg in 2012, it was speculated that the era of the explicit SNL Digital Short is over, although the episode on January 26, 2013 featured a Digital Short.
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