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10 Best Moments From the SNL 40th Anniversary Special

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Last weekend, all the biggest names in comedy came home to the stage that started it all. Saturday Night Live celebrated its 40th anniversary with the help of its numerous cast members and some surprise celebrity guests. The sketch comedy show began in 1975, with the original cast of "Not Ready For Prime Time Players." The show may have evolved over the past 40 years, but we're still laughing just as hard. From Gilda Radner to Kate McKinnon, and Chevy Chase to Bill Hader, SNL has created the biggest comedy talent in the industry. Here are the top moments from the epic reunion!

1. History of SNL rap

Our favorite duo Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon opened the show with the "History of SNL Rap," rattling off famous catchphrase after catchphrase. Of course Justin and Jimmy nailed the cold open with the help of cameos by Debbie Downer (Rachel Dratch) and Mary Catherine Gallagher (Molly Shannon). While it was the perfect tribute to 40 years of famous sketches, we'll admit, their performance could have used a little more cowbell. 

2. Celebrity Jeopardy

We were hoping for a Alex Trebek and Sean Connery reunion, and boy did we get one. This special version of Celebrity Jeopardy featured impressions of Justin Bieber, Matthew McConaughey, Tony Bennett, Burt Reynolds and Christoph Waltz. Connery (Darell Hammond) reprised his role of picking on Trebek's mother and making every category inappropriate, and this time it was "who reads" that become "whore ads."

3. Audition tapes

Ever wonder how the auditions for your favorite SNL stars went? Last night we got a look at how the struggling comics became stars, by introducing their own original characters and impressions for the first time on that historic stage. We got to see auditions from Amy Poehler, Seth Meyers, Jimmy Fallon, Jim Carrey, Stephen Colbert, and many more. 

4. The Californians

Kristen Wiig, Fred Armisen, and Bill Hader returned as our favorite California family. There were special appearances by Laraine Newman, Bradley Cooper, Kerry Washington, Taylor Swift and Betty White. This sketch got laughs from the audience and the performers as they tried their best not to crack up during the Bradley Cooper and Betty White makeout scene. 

5. Weekend Update

It was the first time we've seen three female update co-anchors all together at the desk, and Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Jane Curtain carried that title with honor. Emma Stone nailed Gilda Radner's Rosanne Rosannadanna impression, along with Edward Norton's Stefon, and Melissa McCarthy's Chris Farley tribute.

6. Beyoncé AKA Maya Rudolph

Martin Short and Maya Rudolph, otherwise known as Beyoncé, recognized all the musical characters SNL has featured over the last 40 years. This including, of course, Garth & Kat, Marty & Bobbi Culp covering "Uptown Funk" and "All About That Bass," and the Blues Brothers. Bill Murray stole the segment by surprising us with the lyrics to the Jaws theme song. 

7. Jerry Seinfeld takes questions

Jerry Seinfeld held a hilarious audience Q&A featuring Michael Douglas, James Franco, Tim Meadows, Dakota Johnson, Sarah Palin, John Goodman, and former SNL writer Larry David. The questions poked fun at the writers, hosts, and even the lack of diversity at the show. 

8. In Memoriam

Bill Murray took the stage to present a video montage of the members of the SNL family that we've lost since the show's beginning in 1975. 

9. Wayne's World

Mike Myers and Dana Carvey got huge laughs during their Wayne's World sketch. During this special version of "SNL's Top Ten" the famous duo cracked jokes about Lorne Michaels, and even Kanye, who played along in the audience. In another 40 years we're sure audiences will still be saying "party on, excellent."

10. That's When You Break

Andy Samberg and Adam Sandler teamed up once again for a new digital short all about when the cast breaks character. We all know the audience loves it when the cast breaks character, especially that classic Debbie Downer sketch. The butt of the joke became Jimmy Fallon and Horatio Sanz, who without a doubt would take the SNL title for "Most Likely To Break Character."

Happy anniversary SNL, here's to another 40 years of laughs!


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