Coming to stores: 'SNL' clothes

By Jill Goldsmith,
Variety - 2/17/03

"Saturday Night Live" pajamas and boxer shorts will hit stores this fall in a new, and rare, merchandising blitz prompted in part by the show's strong ratings.

"SNL" creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels' Broadway Video, which handles the show's licensing and merchandising, said it has teamed up with Joe Boxer and Change Daily! brands for an apparel line including men's PJs and boxers. A women's line will follow.

"SNL" hasn't done much in the past with licensing and merchandizing. The last effort, a foray into items like refrigerator magnets and action figures some years ago, fell flat.

"It didn't do anything to enhance the brand," said Andy Darrow, VP of Broadway Video Enterprises, which gained control of the show's merchandising rights from NBC several years back.

Darrow didn't put a price tag on the deal but called it "quite significant."

The garments will feature "SNL" logos, taglines and illustrations of some of the show's best known stars and skits -- mostly from the 1975-79 heyday of the Not Ready for Primetime Players. (Think of Dan Aykroyd dropping a bass in a blender, said Darrow, or a "cheeseburger, cheeseburger" order from the Olympia Diner.)

"SNL's" ratings have been rising with its heightened exposure through reruns on E! and Comedy Central. Darrow said there's been renewed interest from licensees to expand the brand.