Saturday Night Live: 40th Anniversary Special Night Live, often simply called SNL now, broadcast its first episode on October 11, 1975. While the show is not exactly 40 years old yet, this is its 40th season. To celebrate, the show aired a special three and a half hour episode along with a Live from the Red Carpet pre-show. The episode was a huge hit for NBC, drawing more than 23 million viewers. It reunited more than a hundred hosts, cast members, and musical guests. It was definitely an event that couldn’t be missed.  The special began with Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake performing a song and dance number that included many of the catch phrases made famous by the show. The two appeared in the opening wearing matching classic black slim fit tuxedos. At different points in their rap, they added top hats and canes. Rachel Dratch (as Debbie Downer) and Molly Shannon (as Mary Katherine Gallagher) both made special appearances during the performance. The special brought back a number of classic skits. The fan-favorite Celebrity Jeopardy! sketch featuring Will Ferrell as Alex Trebek, Darrell Hammond as Sean Connery, and Norm Macdonald as Burt Reynolds returned, this time adding Kate McKinnon as Justin Bieber, Alex Baldwin as Tony Bennett, Taran Killam as Christoph Waltz, and Jim Carrey as Matthew McConaughey. Farrell managed to stay in character as Trebek despite the hilarious performances by his cast-mates. He wore a grey suit jacket with a patterned red tie and a white tuxedo shirt. No SNL special would be complete without a special Weekend Update, and it didn’t disappoint: Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Jane Curtin returned to the desk along with several different Weekend Update guests. Celebrities like Emma Stone and Edward Norton dropped in to provide their own takes on classic guests like Roseanne Roseannadanna and Stefon. Melissa McCarthy even took on the role of the late Chris Farley’s character Matt Foley, who smashed the desk. She wore a plaid jacket, green tie, and black glasses that certainly looked like something Farley would have worn on the show. The show has been known to parody politicians on a fairly regular basis, and of course the special had to take a look back at some of the best performances. Jack Nicholson introduced the series of clips that included impersonations of many of the past presidents and others, such as candidates Michael Dukakis, Ross Perot, and Sarah Palin. Nicholson introduced the clip wearing a black tuxedo complete with a black bow tie. Mike Myers and Dana Carvey made a return as Wayne and Garth, characters they created on the show and then reprised in two movies. This marked the third time the two had returned to the roles after the 1994 movie. They had previously brought the Wayne’s World characters back in 2008 and again in 2011. This time, the sketch included a list of the top ten great things about SNL. The special made it clear that SNL has been the launching point for a number of amazing comedians, actors, and writers. The series is still going strong, and many people are now eager to see what they will do when it reaches its 50th anniversary in 2025.

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