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NBC paid tribute to 40 years of comedy from the cast of “SNL” bringing out former castmates Eddie Murphy & Chris Rock and welcoming a slew of YBF celebs like Kerry Washington, Dave Chappelle and Whoopi Goldberg. See pics from last night and Kanye West’s performance of “Wolves” inside…

Last night, the SNL 40th Anniversary Celebration was held at Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, bringing generations of comedians and celebs who’ve appeared on the broadcast.

Funnyman Eddie Murphy, one of the show’s most famous alums, attended with girlfriend and constant coffee-run companion Paige Butcher.

Eddie’s appearance was a big deal. He hadn’t returned to the show since he hosted in 1984 (the year Beverly Hills Cop made him a star!) After a rousing intro from fellow alum Chris Rock, he hit the stage saying, “Hey uh, isn’t this an incredible night, this night? This show is such a big part of who I am and my life. And I’m so happy to be back here. It’s a magical feeling. Actually it feels like going back to my old high school kind of. It’s a good feeling. I’m really happy that so many people here value the stuff that I did 35 years ago. It makes me feel really happy. I will always love this show and let’s have some more show. Let’s have a big round of applause for everybody.”

Backstage, Eddie posed with Whoopi Goldberg, and Al Sharpton and his date Kathy Jordan.

Chris Rock also posed with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West backstage.

On Instagram, Kim posted pics of herself and Kanye rocking blue contacts, which played into his performance of “Wolves” with Sia.

Kanye also posed with Dana Carvey and Mike Myers after their “Wayne’s World” skit which lampooned Beck/Beyonce.

Al Sharpton, who host a hit show on MSNBC, also posed with former governor turned tv personality Sarah Palin and Extra! host AJ Calloway.

Rihanna was spotted backstage, posing with Al and Kathy.

Al also posted pics on Facebook of Jimmy Fallon and Mr & Mrs. West.

During the show, there was even a very brief sketch featuring Kenan Thompson as Bill Cosby. The cast “joked” that the segment was taped BEFORE those nasty allegations.

Before the show….

Movie legend Robert De Niro posed with wife Grace Hightower.

Rapper Darryl ‘D.M.C.’ McDaniels rocked an ACDC shirt.

Garrett Morris, the first Black “SNL” cast member, made a triumphant return. He now stars on “2 Broke Girls.”

Whoopi Goldberg shared a “surprised” look.

Current castmembers Kenan Thompson and Jay Pharoah posed together.

Newlywed (and new dad) Ludacris was there.

Maya Rudolph brought out her “Beyonce” impression.

“Empire” star Gabourey Sidibe sparkled on the red carpet.

“Scandal” star Kerry Washington appeared in the “Californians” sketch.

“Red Tails” producer George Lucas posed with wife Melody Hobson.

Dave Chappelle posed with wife Elaine Chappelle.

Oscar-winner Cuba Gooding Jr. flashed his pretty smile.

Current castmember Leslie Jones was there for the laughter.

Funnyman J.B. Smoove posed with wife Shahidah Omar.

“Today” show anchors Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker and Carson Daly hosted the red carpet.

The Performances:

Martin Short and “Beyonce”:

“Kanye” on “Wayne’s World”

Kanye performs “Jesus Walks” & “Wolves” with Sia

Photos Larry Busacca/Getty Images North America/Kim Kardashian West Instagram/NBC Instagram/ Al Sharpton Facebook/ IGGI/@PapCulture/Splash News

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