12:50 PM EDT 03/31/2015

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Saturday Night Live: Celebrating the 40th Anniversary Special's Best Comebacks and Cameos

Saturday Night Live

Saturday Night Live: Celebrating the 40th Anniversary Special's Best Comebacks and Cameos

Originally posted 02/16/2015 05:10PM

Saturday Night Live's 40th anniversary had enough star power to light up all of Manhattan. Even at three and a half hours long, some of the much-hyped appearances left us wanting more – in a good way. Whether their sketches were sentimental or sidesplitting, five celebrity regulars and five SNL vets stood out from the remarkable pack.

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SNL 40 Red Carpet: Stars Share Their Top Missed-Opportunity Sketches

Saturday Night Live

SNL 40 Red Carpet: Stars Share Their Top Missed-Opportunity Sketches

Originally posted 02/16/2015 12:40PM

Before Saturday Night Live showcased highlights from its 40-year history on Sunday, stars past and present gathered on the red carpet to honor the sketch show's historic run.

As they recalled their favorites, though, a few folks noted some missed opportunities. Below, find out who wishes they'd had the chance to keep a straight face around Stefon and which two gentlemen wish they could have demanded "More Cowbell!"

AJ McLean: "I would love to do anything with Stefon even though I would probably break character immediately because Bill Hader is amazing and that character is amazing, but if I could be, like, Stefon's little brother and we could do a whole skit without breaking character that'd be pretty awesome, that would be the one."

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Sarah Palin Celebrates SNL 40: Tina Fey 'Should Be Paying My Kids' Braces!"

Saturday Night Live

Sarah Palin Celebrates SNL 40: Tina Fey 'Should Be Paying My Kids' Braces!"

Originally posted 02/16/2015 09:50AM

Tina Fey, Sarah Palin has a bone to pick with you.

While on the carpet ahead of Saturday Night Live's 40th anniversary special, the former Republican VP candidate called out Fey for not sharing the wealth.

"Well, have I helped her career or has she helped mine? I'm like come on Tina, you should be paying my kids' braces or something," Palin told reporters when asked whether being impersonated by Fey on the series had helped her career.

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5 Essential Moments from Saturday Night Live's 40th Anniversary Special

Saturday Night Live

5 Essential Moments from Saturday Night Live's 40th Anniversary Special

Originally posted 02/16/2015 02:40AM

Lorne Michaels gathered his merry band of jesters at 30 Rockefeller Center's hallowed Studio 8H on Sunday to celebrate four decades of comedy with Saturday Night Live's 40th anniversary special.

In the words of Bill Hader's Stefon, this anniversary had everything: veterans (Eddie Murphy, Will Ferrell, Jerry Seinfeld, Larry David), current pop-culture fixtures (Taylor Swift, Kerry Washington, Miley Cyrus), former hosts (Tom Hanks, Derek Jeter, Alec Baldwin), willing butts of the joke (Sarah Palin) – even Land Shark!

The three-and-a-half-hour special showcased fan favorites' audition tapes and many of the last 40 years' best sketches and digital shorts. Alongside the laughs were touching tributes to New York City and late cast members, plus musical performances from Cyrus, Kanye West, Paul McCartney and Paul Simon.

During the course of the star-studded evening, five segments showcased the series's past, present and future.

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Eddie Murphy Returns to SNL for the 40th Anniversary Special (VIDEO)

Eddie Murphy Returns to SNL for the 40th Anniversary Special (VIDEO)

Originally posted 02/15/2015 11:25PM

Eddie Murphy made his big return to Saturday Night Live on Sunday night when he made a guest appearance during the show's star-studded 40th anniversary special.

The comedian, 53, was given a heartfelt introduction by Chris Rock, who credited Murphy as his comedy inspiration. "I wanted to be Eddie Murphy," Rock said.

He also said that Murphy helped save SNL, which was in a ratings slump when he joined in 1981 at the age of 19, making him the second-youngest cast member in the show's long history. (The youngest cast member ever would be Anthony Michael Hall, who joined the show when he was 17 back in 1985.)

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Will 'NSYNC Reunite for Saturday Night Live's 40th Anniversary Special?

Saturday Night Live

Will 'NSYNC Reunite for Saturday Night Live's 40th Anniversary Special?

Originally posted 02/15/2015 11:45AM

'NSYNC said "Bye Bye Bye" to the flowers and candy on Valentine's Day, instead they gave fans something much sweeter: a confirmed reunion.

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Former SNL Stars Remember John Belushi and Gilda Radner

Saturday Night Live

Former SNL Stars Remember John Belushi and Gilda Radner

Originally posted 02/14/2015 02:15PM

Endlessly talented and gone too soon; so is the story of two of Saturday Night Live's founding cast members, John Belushi and Gilda Radner.

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Jimmy Fallon and More SNL Stars Share Their Scary Audition Stories

Saturday Night Live

UpdatePosted 02/06/2015 03:00PM

Jimmy Fallon and More SNL Stars Share Their Scary Audition Stories

Originally posted 02/04/2015 02:15PM

According to Saturday Night Live creator and producer Lorne Michaels, being on his show, "Is likely the hardest job most people ever have."

Michaels spoke to PEOPLE for this week's issue, in a feature celebrating 40 years of the iconic NBC hit.

Despite how much fun it all looks, putting together America's favorite live sketch comedy show means a life of long days and even longer nights. Still, any comedian will tell you, it's a dream gig. That is, once you make it through a nightmarish audition process.

Here, Jimmy Fallon, Bill Hader, Kate McKinnon and Kenan Thompson share with PEOPLE the most nerve-wracking moment of their careers.

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Credit: Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty
Sarah Palin Returns to Saturday Night Live

Sarah Palin Returns to Saturday Night Live

Originally posted 02/04/2015 03:40PM

Live from New York, it's ... Sarah Palin!

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