Aside from the excellently cut together nostalgia packages and some balls-out funny revisits of classic sketches and characters, part of the great joy of the gigantic SNL 40 special was simply gazing upon the audience.
The show, unlike normal SNL episodes, was not open to the public. Instead, the stands in the studio were filled with past SNL legends, Hollywood luminaries, comedy performers, musicians, directors, politicians; generally a laundry list of people you’d like to be mates with. In the Jerry Seinfeld ‘Audience Q&A’ segment, this was particularly prevalent. In one shot, a beaming Steven Speilberg could be seen as plain as day, whilst in another, as Larry David spoke, Paul Rudd‘s goofy face was in shot no more than three seats away because that kind of shit just happens.
The point is, the amount of talent contained within Studio 8H that night was totally off the charts. And that fact didn’t stop being painfully obvious when the cameras were switched off and Saturday Night Live‘s 40th Anniversary Special finally went off the air. As is tradition in showbiz, the special’s after-party kicked off as soon as the credits finished rolling, and by all accounts it was one for the ages. And because you’ve already casually got four artists currently topping every chart ever, a Beatle, and one of the greatest songwriters of all time floating about – plus arguably the greatest writer/performer in the history of music who wasn’t even on the show but still attended anyway because fuck it – the musical entertainment was well and truly taken care of.
First, you had the almighty Prince jump up with Haim – again, a perfectly ordinary, everyday English sentence – who were joined by Jimmy Fallon, Martin Short, Chris Rock and a shitload of others.
And as if that weren’t enough in and of itself, Paul McCartney and Taylor Swift casually decided to jump up together, first ripping through Swift’s “Shake It Off“…
…then busting out the Beatles classic “I Saw Her Standing There.”
Just for good measure, here’s Bill Freakin’ Murray throwing out some of the most casual tambourine playing you’re ever likely to see, and it is EVERYTHING.
I’m not saying I’d ever want to have the whole cake. But there’s sometimes, like right now, where I just wish I could have a little bite. Just once. Just for a little while.
Local audiences can catch the SNL 40 special when it airs in full on the Comedy Channel on Saturday, February 28th.
Photo: Mike Shoemaker via Twitter.