Prince passed away on April 21, 2016, and fans are still celebrating his life. Tributes have been given in his honor all over the world. On April 23, Saturday Night Live (SNL) paid their respects, dedicating the hour-long show to the artist. The title of the special was Goodnight Sweet Prince. It can still be viewed for free online.
The cast of SNL dedicated the entire show to Prince through inspired sketches, guest stars and flashbacks of his musical performances on the comedy sketch show. Jimmy Fallon opened the show talking about the artist’s presence on the show, from his first appearance, at the age of 22, in 1981, to the SNL 40th anniversary after-party, where Prince gave an impromptu performance. Four decades of memories were shared in the
Four decades of memories were shared during the one-hour special. Fallon stated that Prince’s performances were more like events, and even though styles and times have changed, Prince had always been cool.
The first time Prince was on SNL was in 1981, when he performed Party Up. In 1989, for the show’s 15th Anniversary Special, he played Electric Chair from the Batman soundtrack. Prince played Fury and Beautiful, Loved and Blessed on the show in 2006, and in 2014, he performed a medley of Clouds by Art Official Age and Marz by Plectrumelectrum for eight minutes.
The footage from the February 2015 40th anniversary after-party revealed a rendition of Let’s Go Crazy that had never been seen before it was leaked to the public. The video showed Win Butler was also on stage for the song. It was recorded by Tim Kazurinsky, an SNL alum, who reportedly had to stand on his tiptoes to get the footage. Fallon said it was after 4 a.m. and the after-party was not dying down. The stage had become an open mic event and he had heard that Prince was in the crowd.
Fallon called for the artist to perform and he was happy to oblige. When he stood, the crowd parted to make a path for him to get to the stage. Fallon, in awe, stated famous people parted the way because that is how awesome Prince was. He took the stage and, before he began to play, shouted, “Dearly inebriated!” into the mic and began his new rendition of Let’s Go Crazy. Fallon said the crowd did just that. Maya Rudolph even sang parts of the song on stage with the artist, along with Chris Rock and Fallon, while Emma Stone played the tambourine stageside.
The sketches shown included The Prince Show, which was a reoccurring sketch featuring Maya Rudolph as Beyonce, Shia LeBeouf as Tobey Maguire, Amy Poehler as Nancy Grace and Fred Armisen as the great artist, Prince. Armisen said that as a fan, it was always an honor to play him on the show.
The special episode, Goodnight Sweet Prince, can be viewed on Hulu or NBC for free.
By Jeanette Smith
Tech Times: Watch Prince’s Never-Before-Seen Performance At The SNL40 Afterparty
Yahoo! News: Check out SNL’s full hour-long tribute to Prince
Rolling Stone: Watch ‘SNL’ Remember Prince With Hour-Long Episode
BGR: Check out SNL’s full hour-long tribute to Prince
Image Courtesy of Andy B’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License