Why "Saturday Night Live" Still Uses Old-Fashioned Cue Cards

Saturday Night Live has had an energy like no other show on TV — largely because it’s live. Every sketch is precariously balanced atop an undercurrent of chaos, as 10 million or more people enjoy quickly written, barely rehearsed sketches coming together on stage. The show’s meticulously crafted cue cards are a vital part of that process. You’re probably asking the question: “Why do they still use cue cards when technology has given us teleprompters?” There are a variety of reasons, but they all boil down to one thing: reliability. Cue cards don’t go down if the bulb goes out, they don’t need to be repaired week after week, they can be inspected by multiple people at once, they can be checked at the last minute, and they can be relocated around the set as needed. In short, cue cards remove a whole layer of potential accidents.