Fans are still coming to terms with a world without Prince. Saturday Night Live paid tribute last night with a special “Goodnight Sweet Prince” episode. The episode packed in SNL’s Prince moments, beginning with an emotional opening monologue by Jimmy Fallon. Looking back on the classic skits was one thing, but it was a previously unreleased video of a Prince performance that really made “Goodnight Sweet Prince” memorable.
“Times have changed, styles have come and gone, but no matter what, Prince has never not been cool,” Fallon says in the segment’s introduction.
So cool, in fact, that he can transform an entire star-studded afterparty. Fallon sets up the clip of Prince’s performance by describing the scene: It’s 4:30 in the morning at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. Instruments were up on a stage for anyone to stop by and jam out if they felt like it. Musicians like Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney, and Ariana Grande played, and it didn’t look like anything was going to slow down anytime soon.
Then, Dave Chappelle tells Fallon that Prince is in the building.
“Prince, if you’re in the room I dare you to come up and sing something with us,” Fallon recalls saying. “”All of the sudden the crowd parted. I mean, everyone was there — Jay Z, Beyonce. They part the way for this guy that’s how awesome he is. Then a cloud of I think purple smoke and you see a little afro floating toward you.”
And then this happened:
The other stars in the crowd become fans. Emma Stone, Jim Carrey, Maya Rudolph, Fallon and others joined Prince on stage. Former SNL cast member Tim Kazurinsky filmed the entire impromptu performance while “standing on his tiptoes,” he writes in the video description, so the shaky quality can be forgiven.
It’s amazing it took this long for the video to come out. Of course, finding Prince’s work anywhere is a task, but social media’s sharing culture loves videos of celebrity parties and celebrations.
Normally those videos are junk, but this one was worth the wait.