40 years. Who could have ever imagined Saturday Night Live would have lasted this long? A lot of people didn’t, that’s for sure. SNL has had a very long and rocky history. The show was on the verge of cancellation multiple times. It actually did get cancelled on occasion, only for those decisions to get completely rescinded. Yet despite countless controversy, wildly fluctuating ratings, and a format that doesn’t keep the “big stars” and constantly welcomes new blood, SNL has persevered. It’s an unstoppable juggernaut of a program that is easily benefited by its time slot. 11:30 PM on a Saturday night isn’t exactly a coveted spot. That’s what gave us the first Not Ready for Prime Time Players though, and we wouldn’t be here today without them.
This three and a half hour celebration of SNL’s history was truly a sight to behold. With an absurd number of stars present and approximately 779 episodes of history available, the run time makes perfect sense. There was no way anyone involved was going to make this a half-assed celebration. It’s a huge deal and it deserves to take over NBCs primetime Sunday night schedule. It also helps that the day after is President’s Day, a day that many people have off from work/school. Viewers who can’t make the weekly broadcasts can easily catch this one, and don’t have to worry about getting to sleep early. Truly, last night was the perfect combination to have a celebration for the record books.
What a celebration it was too! Nearly every aspect about the broadcast worked wonderfully. It did a phenomenal job honoring this four decade long history. More than a handful of controversial moments and forgettable cast members were overlooked, but everything else was free game. Classic sketches either re-aired or received updates, big musicians from the show’s history performed big hits, and the long-lost of people who have passed away was recognized. There were moments that made you laugh, feel nostalgic, and even get a little emotional. I truly can’t imagine a better way they could have commemorated this milestone. In an effort to break it all down, I’m taking cue from last night’s special Wayne’s World segment. I’m also altering the classic opening line for this purpose.