Last night’s Saturday Night Live 40-year anniversary special could have moved the most soulless human to tears within seconds of witnessing Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake’s opening rap. A showcase of some of the greatest cast members, hosts, and musical performers to ever hop on stage in Studio 8H, it was a fittingly sincere tribute to an indelible part of pop culture. If you missed the live broadcast, you can relive some of the best moments right here. Get ready for all the feels.
A Montage of Saturday Night Live Audition Tapes
Not only did audiences get to witness the screen tests of superstars Bill Murray, Will Ferrell, Gilda Radner, and John Belushi, but they also got to see the beginning of Chris Kattan’s Mr. Peepers, Kristen Wiig’s Target Lady, and Dana Carvey’s The Church Lady. Sprinkled in were clips from famous faces who failed to make the cut, including Stephen Colbert, Kevin Hart, and Jim Carrey.
“Celebrity Jeopardy” With the Most Stacked Line-Up of Random Famous People
Will Ferrell reprises his role as Alex Trebek, Darrell Hammond makes as a comeback as the ever-inappropriate Sean Connery, and Norm Macdonald crashes the party as Burt “Turd Ferguson” Reynolds. You’d think that’s all you’d need to make a great sketch. But Kate McKinnon as Justin Bieber, Alec Baldwin as Tony Bennett, Taran Killam as Christoph Waltz, and Jim Carrey with a dead-on impression of Matthew McConaughey just had to make the skit an epic clusterfuck of comedy.
Bradley Cooper and Betty White Make-out on “The Californians”
The throaty Valley accents, endless navigation talk, and a Kerry Washington and Taylor Swift cameo were cool and all, but nothing could top the moment Bradley Cooper laid a wet one on the Golden Girl herself, Betty White.
Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin shout-out Tracy Morgan
Mr. and Mrs. 30 Rock reunited to say hello to their former co-star (who is still recovering after his fatal car accident last June). Baldwin issued a slightly uncomfortable impression of the man himself, while Fey reminded us of his love of wanting to get people pregnant. But the most awkward part? NBC’s somber direction, which made it seem like Morgan was part of the SNL community we had already said goodbye to.
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Emma Stone as Roseanne Roseannadanna and Melissa McCarthy as Matt Foley on Weekend Update
How do you honor two of the greatest Saturday Night Live legends to ever live? You get two of the funniest actresses working today to pay tribute to their greatest characters. Emma Stone represented the late Gilda Radner by taking on her loud-mouthed Roseanne Roseannadanna, while McCarthy went H.A.M. as Chris Farley’s reckless motivational speaker Matt Foley. All in the presence of Jane Curtin, Tina Fey, and Amy Poehler reprising their role as Weekend Update hosts.
The Hodgepodge of Basically Every Major Character Ever
Let’s just run down the line-up: Maya Rudolph as Beyoncé, Adam Sandler as Opera Man, Steve Martin as King Tut, Fred Armisen and Kristen Wiig as Garth and Kat, Dana Carvey’s “Choppin’ Broccoli,” Will Ferrell and Ana Gasteyer as Marty and Bobbi Culp, Jim Belushi and Dan Aykroyd as The Blue Brothers, Kenan Thompson as DeAndre Cole, and Bill Murray as Nick the Lounge Singer with Paul Shaffer on the keys. Add to that Jason Sudeikis’ Running Man, and you have the most overwhelming yet awe-inspiring sketch ever. Our brains are racing just scrambling together what we witnessed.
The Return of Eddie Murphy
Chris Rock intro’d him best: “There is no next Eddie Murphy.” Returning to the stage in over 30 years, Murphy made one goofed comeback you’ll just have to see to understand. If anything at all, it was a nice reminder that anything can happen on live TV.
Miley Cyrus Nails Paul Simon’s “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover”
Say what you what about Miley “Put Your Tongue Away” Cyrus, but the girl can sang. And there was no more perfect song to belt out than SNL staple Paul Simon’s haunting hit.
Kanye West Debuts a Live Version of “Wolves” With Sia and Vic Mensa
Kanye West is everywhere, and that includes Studio 8H. What better way for a god to unleash his latest masterpiece than by performing it in a room full of other deity? Bonus points for the Christopher Walken intro.
Andy Samberg and Adam Sandler Premiere a Digital Short About Breaking Character
Sung in a melody that sounds like it’d fit right into Top Gun, or basically any ’80s Tom Cruise movie, Samberg and Sandler, with an assist from Bill Hader, go-in on all the crack-ups, screw-ups, and character breaks on the show over the years. Mostly they just make fun of Fallon, because JIMMY IS ALWAYS THAT DUDE.
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[Photo Credit: NBC/Getty Images]