Last night’s 40th anniversary special for Saturday Night Live was pretty terrific. Sure it was overlong and uneven, but that’s indicative of every episode of the show, so it was fitting that this encapsulation of the previous 40 years of SNL was in keeping with the spirit of the series.
There were many, many highlights of last night’s special (Allison put together 5 of the bigger moments earlier today), but one montage piece in particular was really striking. Over the 40 years that SNL has been on the air, we’ve heard countless stories about those fearful auditions. Performers are forced to stand in front of Lorne Michaels and a collection of other producers and writers and give it their all—for many of them, they feel this is their one chance to finally make it.
The SNL auditions montage that aired last night gave us an intimate look at the first impressions made by cast members new and old, ranging from an adorable Gilda Radner and Bill Murray, to a fresh-faced Will Forte or Andy Samberg. The result is a revealing, funny, and kind of eye-opening look at how these people fared (how ballsy of Chris Kattan to audition with Peepers! And how great to learn that Forte had the memorable Tim Calhoun in his back pocket for a while), along with a few audition tapes from those that didn’t make it onto the show like Zach Galifianakis and Jim Carrey.
Watch the video below and enjoy.