Saturday Night Live has been an American late-night institution for nearly 40 years. In that time, its performers have gone on to become mega superstars and some of comedy’s brightest lights: Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Gilda Radner, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Eddie Murphy, and Chris Rock to name a few. But aside from making stars of hard-working comedians, it has also become a showcase for some of the best musical artists in history.
It’s a proving ground for hot young bands and a special spot for reunions and collaborations. Sometimes the heated stage in studio 8H can be too much to handle (Lana Del Rey) or too small for chaos (The Replacements). Regardless of which side bands fall on, it all comes down to the moment the cameras go live and millions of people across the country tune in to see the antics.
During those 40 years, some major performances have gone down in 8H, but this list is our collection of some of our favorites. They’re memorable for either their incredible showmanship or for their cultural impact. Most of these bands went on to worldwide stardom, but some would never return to SNL’s limelight. Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below.
Senior Staff Writer