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.”