WATCH: SNL 40 In Memoriam Tribute
“Saturday Night Live” honored some of its tragically departed stars on Sunday with an In Memoriam segment on the “SNL 40: Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary” special. The show acknowledged the early deaths of beloved figures like John Belushi, Phil Hartman, Chris Farley and Gilda Radner, all of whom shot to fame on “SNL” before dying young. Watch the video honoring those stars below.
Bill Murray, one of the many returning “SNL” cast members featured on the special, introduced the moving segment, noting it would showcase “the people that we lost, the people that we miss.” The stirring montage featured clips from the likes of not just Belushi, Hartman, Farley and Radner, but also Jan Hooks and guest performer Andy Kaufman, as well as some crew members, like famed announced Don Pardo.
The emotional piece, which had the live audience applauding throughout, was lightened a bit by the inclusion of Jon Lovitz, who, as noted during Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake’s musical opening, is not dead. Murray concluded by thanking longtime band member Leon Pendarvis, who provided the segment’s accompaniment, and then he let everyone know that Genaralisimo Francisco Franco is still dead.
Overall, the night was one of celebration. The “SNL 40: Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary” special invited back tons of alumni, famous friends, former guest hosts and musical performers for a star-studded event honoring the late-night institution, which has become an American pop cultural force since its 1975 debut. Paul McCartney, Tom Hanks, Eddie Murphy, Will Ferrell, Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift, Alec Baldwin, Kanye West and Jack Nicholson were just some of the big names on hand.
Still, it’s hard to shake the sadness that a few greatly loved, extremely talented people were missing. Check out the full tribute below.