Saturday Night Live is celebrating its 40th season with gigantic special Sunday Night on NBC. It’s a reunion of players, hosts and performers from the original season to current one and every one in between. So far, no one really knows what to expect when the special airs live on Sunday night. One of the anticipated moments is the return of Eddie Murphy to SNL after 31 years and he didn’t know how it was all going to work.
But here’s what we do know:
SNL 40 was originally scheduled for three hours, but Lorne Michaels needed an extra half-hour for the live special, so NBC will now air it from 8pm to 11:30pm et. This is impressive. The White House can’t always get space on the networks. Technically, the special is 4 and 1/2 hours long if you count the red carpet special that begins at 7pm et on NBC.
#SNL40 just got bigger. 30 minutes bigger. Don’t miss our 40th anniversary special 8-11:30pm ET with a red carpet starting at 7/6c.
— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) February 13, 2015
There will be music. Besides 40 seasons of memorable performances to use choose from SNL’s musical guests, Paul Simon, Paul McCartney, Justin Timberlake, Kanye West and Taylor Swift have been booked to perform on the anniversary special.
— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) February 11, 2015
There will be sketches. Lorne Michaels has promised this won’t be just “a clip fest” He said the 25th anniversary special was live moments and tape, but he said this time, “We have some of that, but we’re doing more performances”. Plus, the SNL Twitter account has been teasing everyone about rehearsals and writing sessions
— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) February 14, 2015
Jimmy Fallon, Justin Timberlake and former SNL co-head writer Steve Higgins working with Saturday Night Live writer Paula Pell on the 40th anniversary special.
Having a helluva time with my old pals this week. Watch the SNL 40th Anniversary Special this Sunday! pic.twitter.com/3vgk5xIlaT
— Paula Pell (@perlapell) February 11, 2015
Who’s going to be at the SNL 40 celebration? Lorne Michaels gave the Hollywood Reporter the criteria to be invited to the special. He said, “The rules we used were these: Every host was invited. Every musical guest was invited. Any castmember and writer who had been here longer than a year was invited. Not everybody is going to come. The other rule we used, which was just the simplest way to go, was if people sent back their RSVP, they were in the mix of people we could write for. On the 25th anniversary — which turned out remarkably well and was the first time I thought, “I could stop now and be good” — we did mostly live moments with tape and clips. This time, we have some of that, but we’re doing more performances.
Here’s a roll call of from Entertainment Tonight of the 40 years of cast members, hosts, writers and musical guests who are expected to appear on the anniversary special.
50 Cent, Adam Sandler, Aidy Bryant, Al Franken, Alec Baldwin, Amy Poehler, Ana Gasteyer, Andy Samberg, Arcade Fire, Backstreet Boys, Beck Bennett, Betty White, Bill Hader, Bill Murray, Billy Crystal, Bobby Moynihan, Bradley Cooper, Candice Bergen, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Cecily Strong, Charlie Day, Cheri Oteri, Chevy Chase, Chris Kattan, Chris Parnell, Chris Rock, Christopher Walken, Colin Jost, Colin Quinn, Dakota Johnson, Dan Aykroyd, Dana Carvey, Darrell Hammond, David Spade, Deborah Harry, Derek Jeter, Eddie Murphy, Edward Norton, Ellen Cleghorne, Elliott Gould, Elvis Costello, Emma Stone, Fiona Apple, Fred Armisen, Garrett Morris, George Lucas, Gilbert Gottfried, Glenn Close, Horatio Sanz, J.K. Simmons, Jack Nicholson, Jack White, James Franco, Jane Curtin, Jason Sudeikis, Jay Pharaoh, Jerry Seinfeld, Jim Carrey, Jimmy Fallon, Joe Piscopo, John Goodman, Johnny Knoxville, Jon Bon Jovi, Jon Lovitz, Julia Sweeney, Justin Timberlake, Kanye West, Kate McKinnon, Keith Richards, Kenan Thompson, Kerry Washington, Kevin Nealon, Kristen Wiig, Kyle Mooney, Laraine Newman, Larry David, Leslie Jones, Louis C.K., Ludacris, Martin Short, Maya Rudolph, Melissa McCarthy, Michael Che, Michael Douglas, Mike Myers, Miley Cyrus, Molly Shannon, Norm Macdonald, Paul McCartney, Paul Rudd, Paul Simon, Pete Davidson, Peyton Manning, Rachel Dratch, Rob Schneider, Robert De Niro, Rudy Giuliani, Sarah Palin, Sarah Silverman, Sasheer Zamata, Sean Hayes, Seth Meyers, Sigourney Weaver, Steve Martin, Steven Spielberg, Taran Killam, Taylor Swift, Tim Meadows, Tina Fey, Tom Hanks, Vanessa Bayer, Victoria Jackson, Will Ferrell, Will Forte and Zach Galifianakis.
SNL 40: Saturday Night Live’s 40th Anniversary Special is Sunday, February 15th at 8pm et with the red carpet extravaganza beginning at 7pm et on NBC.