Saturday Night Live is pulling out all the stops for the 40th anniversary and that meant a high bar for the opening monologue. Steve Martin started the show, which was a brilliant choice. Despite never being an official cast member, he has appeared on the show a mind-boggling 27 times and is responsible for some of its most memorable sketches. (King Tut, anyone?)
Martin set out to give a rousing speech on the importance of comedians in SNL history, but was quickly interrupted by Tom Hanks demanding that actors be given the same status.
Never to be outdone, Alec Baldwin arrived (sans “Schweddy Balls”) on the stage to point out that he had hosted more than anyone else (16 times and counting!). To bust up the guys’ club, Melissa McCarthy arrived to remind the world that people other than “80-year-old white guys” had hosted the show.
Then Miley Cyrus, Chris Rock and Peyton Manning all arrived in rapid succession, followed by Billy Crystal, introducing himself to Martin: “It’s Steve, right?” Not satisfied with having a billion dollars worth of star power on stage, Sir Paul McCartney and Paul Simon arrived on the scene to play a few bars, too.
Even by SNL standards, that’s an impressive opener.