This weekend’s episode of Saturday Night Live was a special one. Instead of airing a planned repeat, NBC and SNL chose to dedicate the evening to Prince with a special retrospective entitled Goodnight, Sweet Prince.
SNL alum Jimmy Fallon hosted the program, opening with a teary-eyed monologue about the late legend. “Tonight we wanted to pay tribute to him by looking back at his performances on the show over the years, and by remembering what he meant to us,” Fallon said. “It was a lot.”
He went on, “Other people may have been on the show more times, or performed more frequently, but there was always something different about a Prince performance. It was special, it was an event. It was Prince… For my generation and our generation, it was Prince, Madonna, Michael Jackson; they were the Elvis and Beatles, the Marilyn Monroe, the James Dean. They were icons. Larger than life fashion, music, every single thing. You couldn’t take your eyes off of him. I mean, he had his own color. Who has their own color? He owns purple. You can’t just pick a color and go, ‘That’s my thing.'”
What followed was a revisiting of nearly everything Prince related the show had ever done. From his first SNL performance of “Party Up” in 1981 to his record-smashing eight-minute long performance in 2014 — during which he played “Clouds”, “Plectrum Electrum”, “Marz”, and “Another Love” — each of his four appearance on the program were shown. They also aired footage from his epic surprise performance at the SNL 40th anniversary afterparty, which had never before been shown on television.
After the music, Fallon introduced highlights from Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph’s “Prince Show” sketch. The reoccurring bit saw Armisen doing a spot-on impression of the Purple One as host of a daytime talk show, with Rudolph playing his co-host, Beyoncé.
Watch the entire episode through your cable provider below.