Saturday Night Live has been in the news a lot this season after adding a slew of new cast members and signing on some high-profile hosts. With the additions of Beck Bennett, Colin Jost and perhaps most interestingly, Sasheer Zamata among others, there’s been a lot for the show to celebrate. Because of all this hoopla, it’s reasonable that the series wouldn’t put a lot focus on the show’s impending 40th Anniversary. But now that Season 39 is hitting its final stretches, NBC has planned a big old special for next year’s anniversary.
On Friday, NBC announced that SNL will be putting together a three-hour special to commemorate forty years of screaming, “Live from New York, It’s Saturday Night!”. During the special episode, a slew of past guests, past cast members and present cast members, as well as famous musical guests, will make appearances. More than likely, many of them will also act in sketches, give speeches and, you know, try to be funny.
We still have some time to wait before the special airs. It won’t hit the schedule until February 15, 2015. So, it’s probably a little too early to start guessing about who might be in attendance, but for the fun of it, let me hit you with a list of 15 former cast members I’m very confident will be in attendance. I think it'll be Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Billy Crystal, Jon Lovitz, Dana Carvey, Adam Sandler, David Spade, Will Ferrell, Tracy Morgan, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Jimmy Fallon, Kristen Wiig, Andy Samberg and Bill Hader. I left off Chevy Chase and Eddie Murphy because they’ve had some issues with the show over the years, but it’s entirely possible we’ll see both of them, along with all of the other famous faces who have gone on to bigger and better things.
As for frequent hosts, I’ll hit you with 10 of the most likely to make guest appearances. Alec Baldwin, John Goodman, Steve Martin, Tom Hanks, Christopher Walken, Paul Simon, Justin Timberlake, Elliott Gould, Buck Henry and Candice Bergen. You can go ahead and guess musical guests on your own. That’s more of a shot in the dark, at least beyond Paul McCartney--who is really good friends Lorne Michaels.
No doubt NBC likes the idea of people getting pumped for almost a year about this special, but more importantly, the goal is probably to let all of the celebrities get the date on their calendars ahead of time. It’s really difficult to bring this many talented, working actors together. They’ve all got a ton of random projects going on, but since most of them owe their start to Saturday Night Live and Michaels earns respect like few others in Hollywood, you can count on those who are asked to make the effort to fly to New York.
We’ll remind you about this excitement when the date gets closer. NBC's Saturday Night Live currently airs on Saturday nights at 11:30 ET.