The Boss played the Christmas classic over the closing credits of the show, with the former Beatles member joining the band on stage adding to the merriment with some jingle bells.
“Tina, have you been good?” Springsteen asked Tina Fey, who shared hosting duties with Amy Poehler. “Amy? Paul?”
This was the first time Springsteen and McCartney shared the stage since appearing together at a 2012 concert in London that went past curfew, resulting in the pulling of the plug. In a similar moment, NBC cut the performance of “Santa Claus” before the song concluded.
Prior to the surprise, SNL shared the moment on Instagram.
It took two men — saxophonist Jake Clemons and SNL‘s Kenan Thompson — to fill in the shoes of Big Man Clarence Clemons. Thompson stepped in to deliver the line, “you better be good for goodness sake.”
The band played three songs, including the live debut of “Meet Me in The City,” a never before released song from The River sessions. The track is included on Springsteen’s new box set, The Ties That Bind: The River Collection.
The Boss also performed the lead track, “The Ties That Bind,” on SNL. Watch the performance below:
Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band will hit the road for The River tour in January.