The 40th anniversary of Saturday Night Live got off to a raucous start with Jimmy Fallon seemingly prepared to do a soft shoe opening routine, only to be interrupted by Justin Timberlake. They quickly turn the opener into the history of SNL in rap.
They give shout-outs to everyone from The Californians to Mister Bill, Gumby and The Coneheads and, naturally, the Ambiguously Gay Duo and Dick in a Box.
They continue to rap their way through the annals of SNL history until getting interrupted by Rachel Dratch as Debbie Downer, who shows up to remind viewers that, “History has shown that opening the show with a musical number translates to a sharp drop in ratings.”
Fallon and Timberlake shrug and continue through their litany of the best of SNL comedy sketches, including The Blues Brothers, threatening to pump us up a la Hans and Franz, giving Garth and Wayne their due with a solid, “Schwing!” and shouting for “More Cowbell!” That’s when they are interrupted by Molly Shannon as Mary Katherine Gallagher claiming that, “The sound of cowbell makes her nervous.” When she gets nervous she puts her hands under her armpits and then gives them a good sniff.
Fallon and Timberlake continue through the most beloved sketches in Saturday Night Live history before finally declaring the magic words, “Live from New York it’s Saturday Night!”