Miley Cyrus performed a soulful cover of Paul Simon‘s “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover” on SNL‘s 40th anniversary show. The performance was accompanied by Saturday Night Live’s cast member Fred Armisen, who played the tambourine. Cyrus‘ “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover” rendition received a lot of attention on social media, with tons of people praising the pop singer. Music plays such a vital role on Saturday Night Live‘s show, and last night’s 40th anniversary show was a testament to the show’s musical influence.
Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon opened the show with a song and dance, which touched on the most memorable catchphrases and characters from over the years. Rapper Kanye West also made an appearance on the comedy show, and he performed a medley of “Jesus Walks,” “Only One,” and “Wolves.” “Wolves” is a new song that is supposed to be on West’s upcoming album, which is set to be released this year. The legendary Paul McCartney performed a duet of the Beatles “I’ve Just Seen a Face” with Paul Simon, which made the crowd go wild with excitement. McCartney also performed “Maybe I’m Amazed,” while Simon returned later to close the show with a performance of “Still Crazy After All These Years.” Lenny Pickett and Co., and the Saturday Night Live band, also accompanied Paul Simon during his performance.
Besides the music performances, the show also had a large number of sketches featuring past and present cast members and celebrities. Some of the anniversary show’s highlights included Melissa McCarthy paying tribute to the late Chris Farley, Amy Poehler and Tiny Fey teaming up for “Weekend Updates,” and a reel of some cast members’ audition tapes were displayed. SNL‘s producers also decided to make fun of West’s Grammy behavior, and so the rapper interrupted Matt Lauer introducing the special event. The rapper jokingly grabbed the microphone from the Today show host. Some fans expected Eddie Murphy to return with a bang and revive his most-notable Mr. Robinson or Gumby characters, but the comedian chose to give a short (about seventy-seconds) speech about returning to the SNL after more than thirty years.