8:46pm PT by Meena Jang
Jimmy Fallon Remembers Prince During 'SNL' Special Tribute
Saturday Night Live paid tribute to Prince with an April 23 special titled "Goodnight Sweet Prince" following the iconic singer's sudden death on Thursday.
The special offered a look back at the late performer's history with the show and replayed clips of his many memorable performances at Studio 8H, including exclusive footage from SNL's 40th anniversary afterparty.
Jimmy Fallon, donning a purple tie in honor of Prince's signature color, opened the tribute with words of remembrance.
"Prince has been a special presence here at Saturday Night Live for the last four decades," Fallon, visibly choked up, said. "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. Other people may have been on the show more times, or performed more frequently, but there was always something different about a Prince performance."
He continued, "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. … Fashion, music, every single thing — you couldn't take your eyes off of him. He has his own color. Who has their own color? He owns purple!"
"He lived his music. It just came through him," Fallon said, before introducing the first clip with, "Ladies and gentlemen … Prince."
Prince served as the musical guest on SNL three times: in 1981, in 2006 and most recently in a Chris Rock-hosted episode in 2014. The iconic singer has also been impersonated by Fred Armisen numerous times in a recurring sketch titled "The Prince Show," clips of which were replayed during Saturday's "Goodnight Sweet Prince" show.
Plans for the special tribute were announced Friday, one day after the news of Prince's death, in lieu of a repeat of last week's episode hosted by Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
The late singer will also be remembered by Fox with an encore of his 2014 episode of New Girl, which will replay on the network Tuesday, April 26. Prince's first film, Purple Rain, will be airing in 87 AMC theaters across the country from April 23 to 28.