'Saturday Night Live' Costume Designer Tom Broecker Talks the Show's Most Iconic Outfits
When Saturday Night Live airs Saturday night, costume designer Tom Broecker will be sitting at his desk next to Lorne Michaels, just in case any last-minute changes need to be made. “Sometimes I worry the Velcro is going to pop off or we have to glue everything on, and I’m thinking oh my god, just make it stay for five minutes,” Broecker tells me.
Having served up the wardrobe adjustments right up until showtime at 11:30 p.m. for 278 episodes, Broecker knows how deliver on the fly. “My job is to never say no and figure out how to make it happen,” he says.
Broecker took over as the costume designer for SNL in 1994 when he was fresh out of Yale School of Drama, where he admits he wasn’t good enough to make it as a dancer and had to work hard at being a student. So he took assistant design gigs instead, and lately the high-profile projects have steadily rolled in.
Counted among his credits as a costume designer include 30 Rock, House of Cards, Girl Most Likely, Joyful Noise, and Broadway shows Race and Everyday Rapture. He’s currently fixing his gaze on the characters of Amanda Peet’s play The Commons of Pensacola starring Blythe Danner and Sarah Jessica Parker, which opens in late October. Here, he shares secrets about some of the late night behemoth's most iconic costumes ahead of the show's 39th season premiere Saturday night.