A Cold Open is a technique used in videos or podcasts where you jump immediately into the subject and content before dispensing with the title sequence and introduction.

The purpose of a cold open is to lure the audience into the content quickly, establishing an emotional connection. A cold open often presents a core theme or a specific message (like a joke or a question) to elicit a response or curiosity.

One of the first TV shows to use the cold open consistently was Star Trek in the 1960s. This American Life is famous for using the cold open in their popular podcast/radio series. From their first broadcast, Saturday Night Live has used the cold open effectively, presenting a short sketch punctuated with their signature “Live from New York, its… Saturday Night!”