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​The 40 Best Moments of the SNL 40th Anniversary Special

Three-and-a-half hours of montages, memories and hilarity later, here are our favorite moments

Mickey O'Connor

It was three-and-a-half hours of montages, memories and hilarity. Here are our favorite moments of the Saturday Night Live 40th anniversary special:

1. Sarah Palin's sexy red carpet dress (but don't refer to her as a MILF, please!)


2. Jim Carrey's attempt to address the elephant in the room. "If the helicopter in front of me goes down, I'm taking the story," he said, in "defense" of beleaguered NBC News anchor Brian Williams, as Tina Fey, Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie made their best "uh-oh" faces

3. Maya Rudolph's surprising recollection that she met her husband, director Paul Thomas Anderson, during her first week on SNL because he was guest-writing that week

4. Chevy Chase's heartfelt regrets about leaving the cast of SNL after just one season

5. Wait, Jon Bon Jovi has an Oscar? (No, but he was nominated for one!)

6. Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake's brought it on down to SNL with an epic catchphrase rap.

7. The sheer wonder of the immense amount of talent contained in the endless scroll of cast members, musical guests and former hosts at the top of the show

8. Steve Martin praising "young comedian" Louise K. - "I love her"

9. Audition reels!

10. Remembering how important that first post-9/11 show really was

11. Former bandleader G.E. Smith sitting in with the band!

12. Keith Richards' once-a-decade "proof-of-life" appearance

13. Surprise appearances by Laraine Newman, Bradley Cooper, Kerry Washington, Taylor Swift and Betty White on a hilarious multigenerational episode of "The Californians" (in which many cast members - as is tradition - "broke")

14. White and Cooper sucking face during that sketch


15. "Buh-bye!"

16. Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Jane Curtin "man" the Weekend Update desk together.

17. Emma Stone's valiant attempt at channeling Gilda Radner to do Roseanne Roseannadanna, Edward Norton's Stefon (including Bill Hader's advice to "make a teepee for your secrets") and Melissa McCarthy's Matt Foley

18. Land Shark!

19. Gay Hitler!

20. Colon Blow cereal

21. Martin Short + Beyonce = Martonce

22. Opera Man rhyming "fantastic-oh" with "okay-oh" and "laid-oh"


23. "Do you realize that if the roof collapsed right now it would be the least of NBC's problems?" quips Martin Short.

24. Nick Ocean (Bill Murray) singing "The Love Theme from Jaws"

25. Chris Rock's sweet - and hilarious - tribute to Eddie Murphy. "If it weren't for Eddie Murphy, Tina Fey would be the funniest English professor at Drexel University," he said.

26. Rock's re-creation of Murphy's "yo mama" joke: "Yo mama has a mouth on the back of her neck; when she chews, she goes like this [nods head]." Ha? All about the delivery, people!

27. Greg Stink is a big James Taylor fan who curves slightly to the left. So now you know.

28. Miley Cyrus' surprisingly competent cover of Paul Simon's "Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover"

29. John Goodman calling his 13 times hosting "a Goodman's dozen"

30. Ellen Cleghorne's addressing the lack of black women... everywhere

31. Jerry Seinfeld calling Sarah Palin "Tina"

32. Mom Jeans!


33. Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin reminding us of Tracy Morgan's absence: "I'm sure he'd want to get us all pregnant," says Fey.

34. Kanye West's fully prone performance of "Jesus Walks" - weird but provocative

35. Sia's new wig makes a second appearance.


36. Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg's musical tribute to "breaking," which, appropriately, pointed out that Jimmy Fallon and Horatio Sanz broke in nearly every sketch they did.


37. The genuine, heartfelt, continuous applause from the audience during the In Memoriam segment for everyone - those we know from in front of the camera and those we didn't who were behind the scenes

38. Mike Myers and Dana Carvey breathing new life into "Wayne's World" with a Kanye bit, two great Lorne Michaels impressions and a tribute to the show's crew

39. Paul Simon's classy rendition of "Still Crazy After All These Years" the song that traditionally closes the show (It's no "Party in the USA," but it'll do.)

40. Lorne Michaels takes a bow with the cast, hosts and musical guests as the credits roll.


What were your favorite moments of SNL's 40th anniversary special?