5 Essential Moments from SNL‘s 40th Anniversary Special

TIME

Lorne Michaels gathered his merry band of jesters at 30 Rockefeller Center’s hallowed Studio 8H on Sunday to celebrate four decades of comedy with Saturday Night Live‘s 40th anniversary special.

In the words of Bill Hader’s Stefon, this anniversary had everything: veterans (Eddie Murphy, Will Ferrell, Jerry Seinfeld, Larry David), current pop-culture fixtures (Taylor Swift, Kerry Washington, Miley Cyrus), former hosts (Tom Hanks, Derek Jeter, Alec Baldwin), willing butts of the joke (Sarah Palin) – even Land Shark!

The three-and-a-half-hour special showcased fan favorites’ audition tapes and many of the last 40 years’ best sketches and digital shorts. Alongside the laughs were touching tributes to New York City and late cast members, plus musical performances from Cyrus, Kanye West, Paul McCartney and Paul Simon.

During the course of the star-studded evening, five segments showcased the series’s past, present and future.

The Opening Monologue(s)

[time-brightcove videoid=4057740670001]

Jimmy Fallon and Justin…

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