Viewers who missed Saturday Night Live’s tribute to Prince on Saturday will be able to catch the entire episode online, which included sketches featuring the singer and some of his performances on the show stretching across 35 years.
Not long after the iconic singer was found dead on Thursday, executives at NBC announced that instead of the re-run they had planned to run on Saturday, they would instead air a tribute to the man who performed many times on the show. The Saturday Night Live tribute to Prince was hosted by Jimmy Fallon who, in a touching monologue, called Prince a “special presence” on the show starting with his first appearance in 1981.
“Other people may have been on the show more times or performed more frequently, but there was always something different about a Prince performance — it was special, it was an event, it was Prince,” Fallon said (via NBC News).
Those who watch the Saturday Night Live Prince tribute online will see a number of the musician’s performances, including his rendition of “Party Up” in 1981 when he was just 22-years-old. There was also a 1989 performance of the song “Electric Chair” and a 2014 performance that was unprecedented for the show — an eight-minute extended jam/medley of hits.
The episode also featured some sketches with Fred Armisen playing the singer on The Prince Show.
Fallon told a story of a party in New York’s Plaza hotel where he was approached by Dave Chappelle at 4:30 a.m., informing Fallon that Prince was at the party.
“I just said, ‘Prince, if you’re in the room, I dare you to come up and sing something with us,’ ” Fallon recalled.
Prince responded to the challenge, Fallon recounted, appearing in “a cloud of purple smoke” and taking the stage.
“He got up and it was unbelievable,” Fallon said. “He just destroyed. It was the greatest, coolest party you could imagine. He floated off and that was the last time I saw him.”
The Saturday Night Live episode dedicated to Prince was just one of the many tributes from the entertainment world for the singer. In Brooklyn, Bruce Springsteen opened his concert with the song “Purple Rain” in honor of Prince. The stage was lit in purple as thousands of fans sang along, PIX 11 reported.
After the performance, Springsteen told the crowd that Prince had a huge impact on him personally.
“Whenever I catch one of his shows I always leave humble. So, I’m going to miss that and we’re going to miss him,” Springsteen said during the concert.
There have been many other tributes as well, PIX 11 noted. Director Spike Lee hosted a block party in the singer’s honor, and Questlove held a Prince tribute at the Brooklyn Bowl.
There were also plenty of tributes in Prince’s native Minnesota. As KTSP noted, many fans gathered outside his Paisley Park home to take pictures and lay flowers — so many that police had to issue guidance on where they could park and how to approach the home. Others came to an all-night party at First Avenue, the downtown nightclub where much of the movie Purple Rain was filmed and where Prince started his career.
Local Minneapolis organizations also joined in on the tribute, with the Minnesota Twins illuminating their stadium in purple.
Even the I-35W bridge was turned purple in honor of the singer.
The full Saturday Night Live tribute to Prince can be seen here.
[Photo by John Sciulli/Getty Images]