The ongoing behemoth that is the SNL 40 special – the damned thing runs for 3 1/2 hours fer pete’s sake – keeps barrelling towards that very faint light at the end of the tunnel. And it certainly wouldn’t be a Saturday Night Live special without Weekend Update.
The news sketch has been a cornerstone of the show for practically its entire 40 year run and continues to be an anchor point for some of the show’s most beloved characters.
For the giant special, the show gathered three of its most significant and popular Weekend Update anchors together, as well as digging out some long gone characters for another stint at the wheel.
Longtime co-anchors Amy Poehler and Tina Fey were joined by the second anchor of the sketch, the freakin’ excellent Jane Curtain to riff on a few SNL-related gags and bring out the guests.
As a neat way to pay tribute to some dearly departed cast members, Update had celebrity fans do their best impressions of their favourites. Emma Stone trotted out a perfectly acceptable take on Roseanna Roseannadanna – originally made famous by the late Gilda Radner. And Melissa McCarthy just about tore the entire house down with an ASTONISHINGLY good version of Chris Farley‘s hyperactive motivational speaker Matt Foley.
For reasons that are somewhat beyond me, Edward Norton then attempted a take Stefon, a character from the bag of the very much alive Bill Hader. Fortunately, Hader was on hand to correct things, and a nice little walk on from Seth Meyers rounded things out nicely.
Seriously though. That Foley impression. I just about fell out of my chair at “I LIVE IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER.”