A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Saturday Night Live celebrates 40 years

On Sunday, February 15, Saturday Night Live aired its 40th anniversary special. The special reminisced on some of SNL’s greatest hosts, sketches and musical guests.

Since the 70’s, SNL has aired every Saturday night. The show’s original cast consisted of well known comedians, Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi and Chevy Chase. Not much has changed since then; the original SNL had the regular guest hosts, the musical performances and the short films just like today.

Since it started, SNL has created timeless catchphrases and jokes. Along with the many phrases that were coined on the set of SNL, a total of 11 movies have been made based off of the shows sketches, including: Coneheads, Wayne’s World, Superstar, Night at the Roxbury and more. These beloved classics and the catchphrases show how much of an influence the show has had on American culture.

The anniversary episode that aired Sunday night was a fantastic tribute to the show that has continued since 1975. The special brought back sketches from previous years, but also celebrated new talent, both musically and comically. It featured cherished comedians from the early years of SNL such as Chevy Chase, Eddie Murphy, Billy Crystal, Adam Sandler, Will Ferrel and more. But the special also showed newer comedic talent from Melissa McCarthy to the new cast members of SNL, like Pete Davidson and Leslie Jones. It also showed early musical talent from Paul McCartney and Paul Simon, while incorporating new musical talent into the show from Miley Cyrus and Kanye West.

However, one of the greatest tributes to the comedians of SNL on the anniversary special was the showing of the audition tapes. The tapes showed rare footage of comedians like Amy Poehler, Kristen Wiig, Chevy Chase, Seth Myers, Gilda Radner and more, auditioning for a spot on the legendary SNL.

After 40 years, SNL has provided America with wonderful movies, catchphrases and comedians, which were all amazingly portrayed on the anniversary special. I can not wait for what the next 40 years of SNL will bring.