Betty White and Bradley Cooper stole the show by making out in 'The Californians.'

Betty White and Bradley Cooper stole the show by making out in 'The Californians.'

NBC

With three and a half hours’ worth of live airtime to fill, there were bound to be peaks and valleys in last night’s Saturday Night Live 40th anniversary special. Here are our picks for the best and worst moments of the show.

BEST: Celebrity Jeopardy – Will Ferrell has always been hilarious as Alex Trebek, especially when Darrell Hammond is there as Sean Connery. My favorite was Kate McKinnon as Justin Bieber; I really can’t get enough of her playing that character (or whatever else she does on the show). The only sad part was when she was replaced by Taran Killam portraying Christoph Waltz. I think Taran is one of the best players the show has had in a while, but that impersonation needs to stop. It wasn’t funny the first time and it still isn’t. - Rand Duren

WORST: Eddie Murphy tribute - Dan Aykroyd got to reprise Super Bass-o-matic ’76 and the Blues Brothers. Dana Carvey sang Choppin’ Broccoli. Land Shark made a brief appearance. We got a whole Wayne’s World thing. So when Chris Rock came on stage for a lengthy Eddie Murphy tribute and introduction, I was eagerly anticipating potential hilarity. Instead, we got a 45-second thank-you speech in which Murphy looked deeply uncomfortable. If he didn’t want to throw on a purple robe and sing about a hot tub, I completely understand. But surely there could have been something besides what we got. I would have taken an extended clip montage. - Amanda Wilkins

BEST/WORST: The Californians –  For me, the Californians sketch has always been just okay. I don’t love it, I don’t hate it. But I did enjoy what they did for #SNL40, especially because it let us see a lot of the show’s players and guest actors. But man, it felt like it lasted the whole three hours. The highest score from this sketch goes to Betty White for making out with Bradley Cooper, and for simply being Betty White. - RD

BEST: Weekend Update with Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Jane Curtin and more – Can we please have these amazing women back at the Update desk forever? And with Stefon on every episode? Please? Thankfully, we got to see a bit of Stefon and appearances from Emma Stone, Seth Meyers, Edward Norton and Melissa McCarthy, who was absolutely perfect as Chris Farley’s Matt Foley. Stone’s Roseanne Roseannadanna wasn’t perfect, because no one can touch Gilda Radner, but it still made us smile. - RD & AW

WORST: Sports montage - I didn’t mind the tribute to all the sports stars who have been on the show, but traditionally sports figures haven’t been the funniest hosts. I would much, much rather have seen extended time given to all the hilarious commercial parodies the show has done over the years. That was crunched into the digital-shorts appreciation, and it shouldn’t have been. At least we got to see Colon Blow. - AW

BEST: As a bona fide SNL nerd, I loved seeing the montage of audition tapes from some of the show’s biggest stars — and from some of the big stars who weren’t cast, including Stephen Colbert and Jim Carrey. Their nerves were palpable, and it was a lot of fun to watch. - AW

WORST: Too much Kanye – I did not dedicate my entire evening to SNL to have Kanye West roll around on the floor and take up way too much time. His performance of “Wolves” was fine, and Sia and Vic Mensa were great, but it seemed so unnecessary. I could have done without all the references to his Grammy shenanigans too. At least he was a good sport about it. - AW

BEST: ‘That’s When You Break’ – Introduced by Zach Galifianakis wearing Sia’s wig, Andy Samberg and Adam Sandler’s short featured what’s possibly one of my favorite things on the show: cast members breaking character. The short featured clips from sketches made iconic when characters couldn’t contain their laughter. - RD

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