We knew going in that the SNL 40th anniversary special would be chock-full of just about every famous person who has ever walked within spitting distance of 30 Rockefeller Plaza and the opening monologue was quick to make use of this genuinely insane temporary cast of stars. Things got started on the right foot when the always-welcome Steve Martin took the stage ... but then he was joined by Tom Hanks. And then things got really crazy.
After a spirited debate between Martin and Hanks over whether actors or comedians really rule the SNL stage, they were joined by another frequent guest host: Alec Baldwin, who they both agreed doesn’t fit either category. From there on, the floodgates opened. Soon, Bill Crystal rushed the stage. And then Melissa McCarthy popped up. And then Chris Rock. Eventually, the musicians made an appearance. Miley Cyrus playfully bragged about getting paid twice as a guest host and musical guest (which earned her a wonderful $400!), but she was soon pushed aside by Paul McCartney and Paul Simon, who broke out guitars to perform “I’ve Just Seen a Face.”
Even if the comedy wasn’t sharp (and it was surprisingly on point for a monologue with so many moving parts and big personalities), just seeing so many diverse and talented people in the same spot is a cause for celebration. If nothing else, SNL 40 is reminding us that no other show in history can rope together so many wildly different people. Where else will this group of people get to bounce off each other?
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