Between Downton Abbey, the second episode of The Jinx and the first part of a special two-night Bachelor event, there was no shortage of viewing options for a frigid Sunday night. But none of those options held a candle to the night’s main event, SNL 40, the Saturday Night Live fortieth anniversary special.
In the days leading up to it the list of former cast members, former hosts, former musical guests scheduled to attend grew and grew. Will Ferrell! Sarah Silverman! Chevy Chase! Paul McCartney! Eddie freakin’ Murphy! Name after name was announced. Hell even a NSYNC reunion was rumored to be happening because really, why the hell not?
Now facts are facts- three and a half hours was a little on the long side. Although whatever, I suppose it’s understandable. Lots of tributes and lots of people you need give some dap to- so many that all three and a half hours were needed. But maybe it’s just me, but those commercial breaks seemed to be getting more and more frequent as the show went on. But that’s nit-picking! It was a special event, the rare tribute that legitimately brought back memories. None of it really felt forced- instead all organic and natural.
While there are no shortage of recaps of the special out there today, I thought I’d simply list my 40 takeaways from last night. 40. Like you know, the number of years in question. But then I realized forty is a lot. So I did the sensible thing.
Giddy Up America’s 20 Thoughts About SNL40
My dream cast would be John Belushi, Will Ferrell, Bill Murray, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Phil Hartman, Kristin Wiig, Molly Shannon, Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Bill Hader, Dana Carvey and Chris Farley.
My favorite SNL Presidents: Carvey as Bush, Sr., Hartman as Clinton, Darrell Hammond as Clinton, Ferrell as Bush. Honorable mention goes to Jason Sudeikis’ Mitt Romney.
My top 5 favorite ‘Weekend Update’ hosts (listed in order): Norm MacDonald, Tina Fey, Seth Meyers, Dennis Miller, Colin Quinn. Number six is Kevin Nealon.
Will Ferrell is a national treasure. ‘Celebrity Jeopardy’ skit was my highlight of the night.
Kate McKinnon as The Biebs never, ever, ever gets old. Never. I think it says a lot that she was in there with other legendary impressions (Hammond’s Connery and MacDonald’s Burt Reynolds.) Alec Baldwin was great as Tony Bennett.
Hey now Miley Cyrus. I never realized how cool her voice is. I suppose if you’re not going to get the original version of “Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover,” that cover was a good alternative.
I don’t think I’m alone in saying that I’m not a fan of ‘The Californians.’ It must be a cast favorite. That’s the only way I can figure how it made it onto last night’s show. Because think about it- the skits they brought back to life were all classics. There’s no way ‘The Californians’ is a classic. If I got salty at all during the show, the five plus minutes ‘The Californians’ was on, was when it happened.
I would also like to say I’m not a fan of Garth & Kat. Maybe Fred Armisen and Kristen Wiig doing that bit in a dressing room is hilarious, but that’s where it ends.
Okay, one more negative Nancy- all the hub bub surrounding the return of Eddie Murphy and all we get is a few waves, a few thank yous and a few remembrances. There has to be a reason why they didn’t reprise something like ‘Mister Robinson’s Neighborhood,’ Buckwheat or Gumby, right? If it’s because they wanted that ‘The Californians’ skit than I shall drive home angry and not once, NOT ONCE, use my blinker.
Sit down, Kanye!
“A Goodman’s Dozen”
Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David are adorable together. Hold on now! Maybe…yes…YES…let’s have them replace Jon Stewart and have them co-host The Daily Show. Please, please, please! That’d be effin’ amazing.
Quick, who has aged worse- Chevy Chase or Dan Akroyd?
Quick, better version of the Blues Brothers last night- Justin Timberlake/Jimmy Fallon or Jim Belushi/Dan Akroyd?
Maybe, just maybe, and I hate to even suggest this…but, maybe it’s time for Sir Paul to hang it up?
You can’t make me believe that Paul Simon doesn’t drive a Volvo station wagon.
The audition tapes were great, especially seeing so many of the cast members coming in with the sketches and rough drafts of iconic characters. I had heard about Will Ferrell’s audition- the cat impression, the Harry Carey, “get off the shed,” but had never seen it before. And think about this one- whose career ends up more different if they had made it- Jim Carrey or Stephen Colbert?
Best athlete ever to host Saturday Night Live is an easy one- Peyton Manning. If anything, just for this sketch.
Sean Connery on ‘Celebrity Jeopardy’ will always be great.
Maya Rudolph as Beyonce is the stuff dreams are made of.