Around New England

Massachusetts-Born Cue Card Holder For Saturday Night Live Gets Cortisone Shots For His Sore Shoulder

August 14, 2021

Ever see a performer on Saturday Night Live noticeably look off-camera while delivering his lines?

He’s reading a cue card – and it’s held up by a guy who grew up in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts.

Wally Feresten, 55, gets cortisone shots for his right shoulder and rehabs in the off-season because he’s so sore from holding the cue cards up, according to a feature story published by the Fall River Herald News.

The famous late-night comedy sketch show uses low-tech cue cards because the producers can’t take a chance that an electronic TelePrompter will fail on live national television.

Feresten, who has been working for Saturday Night Live for 30 years, helps make the cue cards, which requires lots of redrafts because the writers so often make changes to the script. That’s another reason cue cards are needed – performers can’t spend a lot of time memorizing, because the script is liable to change on the fly.

Feresten also holds cue cards for NBC late-night talk show host Seth Meyers, and occasionally appears on his show.

Meyers paid tribute to Feresten in comments included in the Fall River Herald News story, saying that Feresten crafts perfect cue cards with appropriate line breaks and always holds them in the right place, making it easy for performers.

“If the sketch writer is the architect, Wally is the guy on site making sure no one is going to fall throught the floorboards,” Meyers said, according to the Fall River Herald News.


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