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8 Chicago Sketches That Should Be on SNL’s 40th Anniversary Special

Saturday Night Live airs its three-hour anniversary special this Sunday. Here are some Chicago-bred players, sketches, and references to watch out for.

An early SNL cast. Left to right: Laraine Newman, John Belushi, Jane Curtin, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, Dan Aykroyd, Garrett Morris.   PHOTOGRAPH: © NBC/COURTESY OF THE EVERETT COLLECTION

If you watched the Super Bowl, you saw NBC air two name-dropping teasers for SNL’s 40th Anniversary Special—and if you’re even a casual fan, you know that the lineup is grotesque. The three-hour live broadcast, which airs this Sunday at 7 p.m., will feature 40-plus alumni and popular guests, including Chevy Chase, Chris Rock, David Spade, Molly Shannon, Steve Martin, Kerry Washington, Taylor Swift, Paul Rudd, Jimmy Fallon, Paul McCartney, Jack Nicholson, Dana Carvey, Kristen Wiig, Tom Hanks, Jim Carrey, Jerry Seinfeld, and for the first time since leaving mid-season in 1984, Eddie Murphy.

Of course, a gaggle of Chicago actors will appear too. Among the one-time residents slated to perform in some capacity are Tina Fey, Mike Meyers, Amy Poehler, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Seth Meyers, Fred Armisen, Jason Sudeikis, and on the musical side, Kanye. Based on those names (and a healthy hometown bias) here are some sketches the gang could, should, and may reprise this weekend.

Wayne’s World

With Mike Meyers and Dana Carvey both set to appear, the pair’s faux Aurora, Illinois public access show is inevitable; jury’s still out on whether they’ll party with Kanye, Paul McCartney, Justin Timberlake, or Taylor Swift.

A Weekend Update/Point Counterpoint mashup

Not only will about a dozen Weekend Update alumni perform on Sunday (Meyers, Poehler, Fey, Fallon, Chase, and Murray among them). Point Counterpoint OGs Jane Curtin and Dan Aykroyd will be around to reprise the now-defunct 60 Minutes send-up.

Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin address the nation (with Sarah Palin)

Given IRL-Sarah Palin’s eleventh-hour sign-on after an invitation from Lorne Michaels last week, expect some ace reparte from the politician and her best impersonator. Poehler joining as Clinton seems a likely cherry on top.

Dan Aykroyd peddling some product or another

Whether it’s a string of murderous playthings or the Super-Bass-O-Matic-’76, a SNL reunion with no mustachioed Aykroyd is no reunion at all.

Mom Jeans

Three of the four original Mom Jeans actors (Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Maya Rudolph) have already been announced for Sunday’s special; expect at least one pair of high-waisted pants to make a cameo.

Nick the Lounge Singer

Bill Murray’s recurring lounge-act spoof—crafted at Second City and supposedly based on Chicago singer Jimmy Damon—would be a shoo-in had he not appeared at SNL’s 25th anniversary special. Still, the character is a classic, and was too vital to the show’s early years to exclude.

Olympia Restaurant

This Billy Goat Tavern-inspired classic is obviously tough without Belushi—but fans did recently vote it the best SNL sketch of the ’70s, and primaries Laraine Newman, Bill Murray, and Dan Aykroyd will all be present. Expect at least a nod.

A Kanye West/Paul McCartney closer

Both musicians will be on set, and recently released their first collaboration, “Only One.” They may as well include Taylor, too—she and Kanye are reportedly pals now.

Saturday Night Live’s 40th anniversary special airs at 7 p.m. this Sunday, February 15, on NBC.

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