NBC Announces 3-Hour ‘Saturday Night Live’ 40th Anniversary Special for 2015

By April 18, 2014

If you keep up with our recaps of “Saturday Night Live,” you know that this writer is a big fan of the late night sketch series, and has kept up on the history of the long-running show and all the behind-the-scenes madness that takes place at Studio 8H in New York City. That’s why I’m pleased to announce a big “SNL” special is coming up that will celebrate the show being on the air for 40 years.

NBC sent out a press release announcing a live three-hour 40th anniversary broadcast that will air on Sunday, February 15th, 2015. It might seem sacrilegious for a show called “Saturday Night Live” to celebrate this anniversary on a Sunday, but since that’s a much bigger night for TV, especially for something as grandiose as this, it’s fitting.

Robert Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment, made a statement:

‘Saturday Night Live’ is an institution unlike anything else in television history. The many brilliant ‘Not Ready for Primetime Players’ over the years is a who’s who of film and television comedy for the last two generations. The roster includes everyone from the iconic first cast in 1975 to household names ranging from Eddie Murphy, Billy Crystal, Dana Carvey, Mike Myers, Will Ferrell, and Adam Sandler, to Kristen Wiig, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Jimmy Fallon, and Seth Meyers — to name only a few. This brand, which is still one of the highest-rated comedies on television, was the brainchild of Lorne Michaels, who still presides over the whole enterprise today. This special is just one of the many ways we plan to celebrate ‘SNL’s historic 40th season next year.

Saturday Night Live - Old Sketches

“SNL” has done many specials in the past, most of them being clip shows featuring special themes like presidential sketches, sports sketches, Halloween, Christmas, and more. There have also been some incredible feature-length documentaries chronicling each decade that the series has been on, featuring interviews with respective cast members, writers, and producers. But this is the first time since the 25th anniversary that a big live celebration has happened.

As of now, the roster of guests that will include cast members, hosts, and musical guests of yesterday and today has yet to be announced. But with 40 years of history, there’s a huge wealth of talent to choose from. It would be great if certain names that have disassociated or distanced themselves from their time at “SNL,” like Eddie Murphy and Bill Murray, would pop up, but maybe they’ll save that for the 50th anniversary.

Either way, this is bound to be a spectacular celebration of 40 years of “SNL” since the innovative comedy show launched back on October 11th, 1975. And if you haven’t seen the awesome time lapse video of how an entire live episode of “SNL” unfolds, then you can check it out right here.

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Ethan Anderton
Some of his favorite films include Ghostbusters, The Empire Strikes Back and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, while his favorite TV series include LOST, Mad Men, 30 Rock, Parks & Recreation, Arrested Development and Saturday Night Live.