What’s Worth Watching: Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special

Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary
Dana Edelson/NBC
Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary

Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special (Sunday, Feb. 15, 8/7c, NBC)

Our top story tonight! … For four decades, we’ve gone to bed happy on Saturdays, thanks to this incubator of future comedy superstars, instantly indelible catchphrases (“Isn’t that special!”), and memorable characters who define each succeeding breakthrough generation of Not Ready For (though often better than) Prime Time Players, many graduating to their own series or lucrative movie careers.

The challenge is for NBC and Lorne Michaels to condense the legendary franchise’s rich and rowdy history into a three-hour celebration (plus the requisite “Red Carpet Live” pre-show at 7/6c from Rockefeller Center featuring Today‘s Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker and Carson Daly). It won’t be just Wayne and Garth partying on, though. SNL has invited back many past cast members to remember the good times, along with celebrity guest hosts and other famous (or infamous) types who’ve graced the stage, as well as a hall of fame’s worth of musicians whose performances have become the stuff of legend. Much like the show itself.