McCartney, Simon, Miley and Kanye Star on 'SNL 40'
February 16, 2015 at 12:28 PM (PT)
A hoarse PAUL McCARTNEY, a charming MILEY CYRUS, a supine KANYE WEST and a wistful PAUL SIMON were the musical highlights of last night's star-studded, gala, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE 40 anniversary bash at Studio 8H in ROCKEFELLER CENTER.
The two PAULS -- McCARTNEY and SIMON -- got things started in the opening with a seemingly impromptu acoustic duet on THE BEATLES' "I've Just Seen A Face," which accented their own roles over the years on the celebrated comedy show.
Cheekily introduced by KEITH RICHARDS, MACCA himself, fresh from his special, two-hour VALENTINE'S DAY performance the night before at IRVING PLAZA, seemed a little hoarse, though he did manage to belt out the final chorus of "Maybe I'm Amaze" with his longtime band.
MILEY CYRUS was up next, fronting a small ensemble which included ex-cast member FRED ARMISEN on percussion, with a jazzy cover of PAUL SIMON's "50 Ways To Leave Your Lover," a song he had performed on the show before.
KANYE WEST was next, lying on his back underneath what looked like a tanning light for a jarring medley of "Jesus Walks," from his 2004 debut "The College Dropout," into "Only One," his recent collaboration with McCARTNEY and, after bringing on CHICAGO rapper VIC MENSA and SIA (with her now-trademarked blonde wig that obscures her facee) for the brand-new track "Wolves," from his upcoming album. WEST then was teased by MIKE MYERS and DANA CARVEY during their "Wayne's World" skit for his GRAMMY stage-rush on BECK last week.
LORNE MICHAELS' good friend PAUL SIMON closed the show with a melancholy "Still Crazy After All These Years" after acknowledging the SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE band by asking for a standing ovation from the crowd.
Other musical highlights included JIMMY FALLON and JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE's opening rap homage to the many bits and catch-phrases SNL has inspired over the years, as well as MARTIN SHORT and MAYA RUDOLPH's hilarious QUEEN BEY routine paying tribute to past musical sketches on the show, including CHRISTOPHER WALKEN's immortal "more cowbell" routine.