Justin Timberlake teamed up with comedy pal Jimmy Fallon to launch the star-studded Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary special on Sunday.
Former SNL regular Dan Aykroyd urged viewers to “stay tuned” for the three-and-a-half hour show during the red carpet pre-show, insisting, “You’re never gonna see TV like this again”, and he wasn’t wrong.
Timberlake kicked off the proceedings by interrupting his pal Fallon’s opening song-and-dance number to join him for a rap number, referencing some of the show’s most famous catchphrases and skits.
The two pals closed their intro with a song-and-dance number, in which they named SNL‘s most famous comedians.
Paul McCartney and Paul Simon then teamed up during a second monologue, during which Steve Martin fought to convince the starry audience that he was the best host – over Tom Hanks, Alec Baldwin, Melissa McCarthy, Chris Rock and Miley Cyrus.
In among the medley of historical skits, dotted throughout the special, there were also updates of classic sketches, including a celebrity Jeopardy game show, featuring Jim Carrey as Matthew McConaughey, an updated Wayne’s World, and spoof soap The Californians with Bradley Cooper as a pool boy, Kerry Washington as a doctor and Taylor Swift as a hippie actress, which ended with Cooper smooching Betty White.
Other highlights included Keith Richards introducing McCartney’s rendition of “Maybe I’m Amazed,” Edward Norton, Melissa McCarthy and Emma Stone impersonating their favorite SNL characters, and Miley Cyrus covering Simon’s “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.”
The oddest moment came when rapper Kanye West performed his hit “Jesus Walks” while lying on the floor, beneath an illuminated white sheet. West eventually stood and sang his new song “Only One.”
Star guests also included Robert De Niro, Jack Nicholson, Jerry Seinfeld, James Franco and Michael Douglas and former SNL regulars Eddie Murphy, Adam Sandler, Chevy Chase, Will Ferrell and Bill Murray.
The marathon special ended with a performance from Paul Simon, but there was no ‘N Sync reunion, as had been rumored earlier in the day.
You can watch some highlights from last night’s festivities below:
Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake Cold Open
Paul McCartney – “Maybe I’m Amazed”
Weekend Update with Tina Fey, Amy Poehler & Jane Curtin
Miley Cyrus – “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover”
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