‘He meant a lot to us’ – Jimmy Fallon on Saturday Night Live
… If you did not watch the Saturday Night Live special tribute to the music great last night, you can relive it by scrolling through the photos of the event here
Impersonation: As well as airing the performances, the show featured skits of Fred Armisen playing Prince from previous episodes
honour of the tragic death of music legend Prince, Saturday Night Live aired a special tribute episode this week, two days after his passing.
Jimmy Fallon delivered a touching introduction as he remembered the iconic singer, who performed on the show three times over the past 35 years.
‘Prince has been a special presence here at Saturday Night Live for the last four decades, from his debut on the show as a 22-year-old in 1981 to a surprise performance at the after-party for the SNL 40th anniversary which we’ll talk more about later,’ the 41-year-old began.
‘Tonight we wanted to pay tribute to him by looking back at his performances on the show over the years and by remembering what he meant to us. It was a lot.’
Following his first appearance on the show in the early Eighties, Prince returned to SNL in 2006, and then again in 2014. He also performed during the show’s 15th anniversary special in 1989.And Jimmy explained that even though he hadn’t performed on the series as much as some other artists, his stage presence was always remembered by the cast and crew.
‘Other people may have been on the show more times or performed more frequently, but there was always something different about a Prince performance,’ the comedian said, appearing to be fighting back some emotion.
Gone too soon: The music icon tragically passed away on Thursday at the age of 57
Unforgettable: Prince performed on the show several times, the first of which was in 1981
‘It was special. It was an event. It was Prince. Times have changed, styles have come and gone, but no matter what, Prince has never not been cool.’
Jimmy reminisced about how Prince was one of the greatest artists of our time, and pointed out that there is no one quite like him.
‘For my generation and our generation, it was Prince and Madonna and Michael Jackson. They were the Elvis and Beatles – the Marilyn Monroe and the James Dean,’ he said. ‘They were icons. Bigger, larger than life… fashion, music, every single thing – you couldn’t take your eyes off them.’
Wrapping it up, Jimmy said: ‘I mean, he had his own colour. Who has their own colour? He owns purple. You can’t just pick a colour and go, “That’s my thing!”
‘The guy was just amazing, and when you see these performances – every single one of them – it’s just electric.’
He added: ‘He lived his music. It just came through him, and if you don’t know all of his work, tonight is just going to be a treat for you guys.’
‘It just came through him’: Jimmy said that the legendary singer ‘lived his music’ and was ‘electric’ on stage
As well as airing the performances, the show featured skits of Fred Armisen playing Prince from previous episodes.
Earlier in the day, veteran SNL cast member Tim Kazurinsky shared a previously unseen video from the after-party for the show’s 40th anniversary last year.
In the clip, Prince performed on stage while joined by the likes of Jimmy, Maya Rudolph and Chris Rock.
Back for more: Fans were delighted to see the artist return to the Saturday Night Live stage in 2006
His final SNL performance: Most recently, Prince performed a medley on the show in 2014 Bill Murray and Emma Stone also joined in the fun, as everyone on stage danced to the singer’s biggest hits and some played musical instruments.
Prince was found dead in the elevator at his Paisley Park estate just outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota on Thursday. He was 57.
Friends and family members gathered for a private memorial service on Saturday after the Purple Reign’s body was returned to his family following an autopsy and secretly cremated.