Saturday Night Live: 40 Years of Laughter

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Since Saturday, October 11, 1975, studio 8H at NBC Studios of Rockefeller

Center have sent audiences into hysterics. From Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, to Eddie

Murphy and Mike Myers (to name a few), Lorne Michaels’ Saturday Night Live was

the birthplace (not literally) of some of the world’s most famous comedians. Now,

forty years later, American is still laughing with Michaels, having celebrated the

show’s 40th Anniversary, last month, on Sunday, February 15, 2015 (yes, it wasn’t a

Saturday).

To start things off, every celebrity imaginable was present: from Miley Cyrus

to Sarah Palin, the entire world virtually made an appearance at this three-hour

spectacle. Now, you’re probably wondering: how did they present forty years of

material in ONLY three hours? Simple: they didn’t. The most marvelous feature

about this televised special was that it flowed; there weren’t any awkward gaps –

just amazement. Now, what’s an SNL episode without an outrageous opening?

Pop culture’s favorite “bromance” – Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake –

opened the historical show with a medley of famous SNL tunes, moving into a Blues

Brothers performance of “Soul Man” by Jim Belushi (brother of the late John

Belushi) and Dan Akryod, then a small cameo by Molly Shannon’s Mary Katherine

Ghallegar from 1999’s SNL-based film Superstar. For true SNL fans, the fortieth

anniversary was everything they had hoped for and more. Now amongst the musical

outbursts, there were some rare moments, such as airing audition tapes of casts

present and past.

During this star-studded celebration, some of the greatest skits were re-

created, such as the classic Jeopardy with Will Farrell as Alec Trebek, Darrell

Hammond as Sean Connery and Norm Macdonald as Burt Reynolds (or Mr. Turd

Ferguson). The scene (besides its usual laughs) also introduced Kate McKinnon as

everyone’s favorite “belieber,” Justin Bieber. One of the most talked about moments

of the night was the Bradley Cooper and Betty White make-out session in The

Californians sketch, which was highly hilarious and so Californian (I apologize to my

friends in LA). Another highly-anticipated reunion was the Mike Myers and Dana

Carvey skit Wayne’s World, where the “dudes” did an updated top-ten list about SNL

over the course of its forty years. Incredible, but certainly not forgettable.

Leave it to Lorne Michaels to change up a sad moment! During the in

memoriam part of the show, hosted by Bill Murray, the screen rolled tributes to John

Belushi, Chris Farley and Gilda Radner to name a few. As touching as the tributes

were, a fairly “new” death was added to the end: Jon Lovitz. It was strange that the

reoccurring joke of the night was the death of the VERY alive, Jon Lovitz – however,

it was funny to say the least! Now speaking of “death” (I know, not the greatest

interlude), Kanye West performed a medley of his songs with SIA and Vic Mensa,

while lying down and rolling around on stage. It was very Madonna “Like A Virgin”

era meets the Twilight Zone; very bizarre, but oh so good.

Having watched the star-studded special was a dream, especially for

executive at NBC’s network. The Sunday special raked in 23.1 million viewers,

according to Variety.com; a new monument in the network’s ratings. This means

that Saturday Night Live has and continues to play a huge role in the lives of people.

The skits are funny, some may be controversial, but in the end, this program helps

people laugh about life. As the late Joan Rivers said it best: “Life is very tough. If you

don’t laugh, it’s tough.” That’s exactly it. Saturday Night Live, for the past forty years

has helped the world laugh, which something we need to do every so often. Thanks,

SNL, for the laughs – we love you too.

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Saturday Night Live: 40 Years of Laughter