I just got done watching the SNL 40th Anniversary Special on NBC. Over 200 minutes of mostly hits. The strange, awkward moment with Eddie Murphy aside, I thought the show was pretty good.
My five favorite moments
5) Weekend Update Tribute
While I would have liked to have seen some recent updating from some of the many 25 Update anchors, what we got was from Fey, Curtin, and Poehler was pretty good. Then having a tribute to Chevy Chase by Nealon, Myers, McDonald, and Quinn was touching. All making jokes at each others expense with Gerritt Morris thrown in for good measure.
The best joke of them all was by far Curtin poking fun at Fox News. Wonder where Dennis Miller was?
4) Celebrity Jeopardy
That skit was money in the bank. Will Farrell as Trebek is always a crowd-pleaser. Hammond and McDonald reprise Connery and Reynolds (Turd Ferguson) characters that managed to pay tribute and remind us of the humor of the present (Bieber, Cosby et all).
3) Political SNL
While this part could have been a little bit more in depth, exploring the history of SNL and it's link to American politics was wonderful. They hit a lot of the great debates, famous political faces and reminded us that we need to keep a sense of humor even in the tough times. I thought Jack Nicholson was a wonderful host to lead into this segment.
2) Larry David & Jerry Seinfeld
This was great to see. Larry David on SNL. "So, I was a writer on this show?" Their commentary about how few individuals could do what they did back in the 1980s and go off to create, what is still considered by many the greatest sitcom of all time is maybe true, but maybe not. The Brian Williams joke was also pretty good.
1) The tribute to the SNL Musical Skits
Martin Short and Maya Rudolph stole the show at this point. From there you could only go down. Where else can you get Bill Murray singing about Jaws, The Blues Brothers, King Tut, Opera-Man and the rest involved all in one place? By far, the best part of the entire program.
Kudos to Paul Simon, he did a wonderful job too. The tribute to the home movies, digital shorts...etc could have been better if more of Robert Smigels material could have been included. Before digital shorts there was TV Funhouse. No Conan O'Brien was sort of a let down. Seems like pretty poor timing to head to Cuba to do a show.
I thought the biggest let down was Eddie Murphy. You don't wait 30 years to come back to a show and then just ramble for two minutes about what is like to be back and then not do anything else. Oh well, perhaps he'll come host now.
So in the words of Larry David the SNL 40 special was 'pretty, pretty, pretty good'.