Fallon, Timberlake Lead SNL's Star-Studded 40th
Eddie Murphy makes an odd return to the show
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Feb 16, 2015 6:33 AM CST

(Newser) – Live from New York, it was a Sunday night, but a swath of legendary entertainers nevertheless came together to fete Saturday Night Live on its 40th anniversary. The SNL 40 special featured appearances from current and former cast members, film icons, and musical guests like Paul McCartney and Kanye West. But despite great moments, the show wasn't free of oddities. Among the high- and lowlights of the 3.5-hour show:

  • Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake opened the whole shebang with a rap celebrating 40 years of sketches, Mediaite reports. The pair dropped references to classics, recalling wild and crazy guys, the Blues Brothers, and more cowbell. They were joined by SNL alums Rachel Dratch and Molly Shannon.
  • Mike Myers and Dana Carvey brought Wayne's World back to life with a top-10 list, reports the Hollywood Reporter. They took the opportunity to poke fun at Kanye's mic-grabbing moments and even mock show boss Lorne Michaels: "What can we say about Lorne Michaels that he has not already said about himself?"

  • Weekend Update reached across the decades, uniting Tina Fey and Amy Poehler with Jane Curtin at the desk. The three hosted Melissa McCarthy, Emma Stone, and Edward Norton in the segment featuring a collection of beloved characters, Vulture reports.
  • Eddie Murphy returned to the show for the first time since he was a cast member, having refused hosting opportunities in the past. Murphy got a standing ovation, but instead of reprising any roles, he just made some quick remarks, repeating himself after an odd pause; it wasn't clear what had been planned for the moment, the Hollywood Reporter notes.
  • Paul McCartney and Paul Simon offered a quick duet version of "I've Just Seen a Face," and McCartney later tore into "Maybe I'm Amazed," Rolling Stone reports. Miley Cyrus sang Simon's "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" alongside former cast member Fred Armisen, and Simon himself played "Still Crazy After All These Years" at the show's end. Kanye performed a medley of his songs, including "Jesus Walks," "Wolves," and "Only One."