Saturday Night Live is the only show on television that my entire family can agree to watch. While certain shows can be better than others, Saturday Night Live broadcasts a standard of entertainment that has saved me valuable time channel surfing. It provides comical relief that appeals to all ages because it is easy to understand and is generally straight forward. Having been a fan of the show since as long as I can remember, I’ve seen many cast members come and go. It has been especially interesting watching my favourite actors/comedians grow, finding their comedic niche within the cast. Saturday Night Live is the only live comedy show that has survived multiple generations of viewership. During their 40th Anniversary Special the show reminisced on past times, highlighting some of the funniest comedic moments during the show’s on air history. Even though many of the re-broadcasted skits where before my time, I was still laughing out loud along with my parents. SNL classics don’t become stale over time, the humour was still as fresh as it was when it aired live for the first time way back when.
The Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special, which was three and a half hour long broadcast that aired on Sunday, February 15, 2015, was preceded by a red carpet event. The red carpet event was made up of awkward interviews that didn’t really serve any other purpose other than to talk to celebrities. They asked the same irrelevant questions over and over again about how excited they were to be there, about who they arrived with, about the lounge they were hanging out in, and about what they were wearing… Agh! It was brutal. But luckily once the actual show commenced all of that boring nonsense stopped. Some of my favourite moments during the show were:
Justin Timberlake’s & Jimmy Fallon’s Cold Open – This hilariously paired duo will always render audiences laughing uncontrollably. These two talented young men act like childhood best-friends on television. They are both very good at what they do, and you can see a genuine expression of happiness as they are fooling around on-stage. They are responsible for some of SNL’s funniest moments, and rightly deserve to open the 40th anniversary special.
Celebrity Jeopardy – What could top celebrities acting like other celebrities (or should I say the stereotypical, over the top accentuated personality of certain celebrities) during a game of Jeopardy? The categories are simple, the answers are practically handed to them, the host (Will Ferrell) is barely able to control his contestants as the game show structure of the program slowly breaks down in to a stupefied conversation between eccentricities. Lots of comedy here.
The Weekend Update – The Weekend Update has always been one of my favourite parts to an SNL episode. Saturday Day Night Live’s take on the satirical presentation of weekly news makes fun of serious topics that most comedians would not dare to approach. Weekend Update also serves as a structured interlude between skits. The 40th anniversary edition of The Weekend Update was special because they invited every Weekend Update news anchor back onto the show, as well as taking the time to revisit some of our favourite reoccurring guests. “New York’s hottest club…”
Audition Tapes – Never before seen footage of the actors/comedians we know so well presenting themselves to SNL for the first time shows us the raw talent that set last year’s new line-up in motion, and all subsequent previous line-ups.
Sketch Recap – A flashback to the earlier days; Essentially a re-run of our favourite skits. The humour holding strong to this day. Emotional moment for some of the cast members to see how far they’ve come over the years.
All in all, SNL’s 40th Anniversary special was worth the watch. Aside from the annoying commercial interruptions and cringe-worthy red carpet moments the show was a satisfying milestone in television history.
By: Lucas Philipp