Saturday Night Live enters its 41st season today (Oct. 3) with Miley Cyrus as host and musical guest. For episodes two and three, Cyrus is followed up by another two bona fide pop stars, the Weeknd and Demi Lovato.
But let us take you back through a few musical guests that you might not remember.
5. The Replacements
When the Replacements reunited in 2013, their live sound was squeaky-clean compared to their ‘80s days of debauchery. So while a punk band playing on SNL these days isn’t out of the question, we at least know the ‘Mats themselves would never show up too wasted to remember their own lyrics.
4. The Pogues
Following on the drunk performers theme, guess what the Pogues were like by the time evening rolled around in New York on Saint Patrick’s Day in 1990? If you guessed “pretty drunk,” you are correct!
3. Sun Ra
1978’s season three of SNL was closed out with musical guest Sun Ra, an avant grade jazz composer and bandleader who spoke of peace, Afrofuturism, and being from Saturn. There’s sadly no footage available online, but try to imagine this 1976 performance on the SNL stage:
2. Philip Glass
During the same season the Replacements got banned, composer Philip Glass served as musical guest on arguably the weirdest episode in SNL history. In fact, the opening theme was replaced by a piece of Glass’ own compositions — “Façades” from a six-movement piece of chamber music. Take a listen below and decide for yourself, on a scale of one to ten, how much this gets you ready for 90 minutes of sketch comedy.
For 1981’s Halloween episode, John Belushi begged the producers to have his pals, the L.A. punk band Fear, guest on the show. They trolled the audience by saying, “pleased to be here in New Jersey” and played a song called “New York’s Alright if You Like Saxophones,” which included an actual saxophone. There was a lot of moshing. Possibly terrified, the show cut to commercial in the middle of Fear’s third song.