Saturday Night Live has never just been a comedy program. From the very beginning, more than 40 years ago, SNL has also been a musical showcase, and over the show’s run, it has provided some incredible musical performances. In fact, many of the best (and worst) moments on the show have come from the musical acts that have performed on SNL. Who can forget the Beastie Boys destroying the SNL set? Or Sinead O’Connor ripping up a photo of the Pope? Or Ashley Simpson’s infamous lip-synch fail? Even many of the best moments among the cast members have involved music, from The Blues Brothers, to Bill Murray’s hilarious Nick the Lounge Singer, to the Sweeney Sisters. Yes, SNL has always been, and remains, a musical show, and here are the best musical guests to ever perform on the program.
10. Paul Simon and George Harrison (1975)
One of the best moments from the first season of SNL, way back in 1975, featured Paul Simon and former Beatle George Harrison singing a stripped-down version of the song “Here Comes the Sun”. If you’ve never seen this performance, you definitely should, as it features Simon and Harrison, perched on two stools with acoustic guitars, singing the classic Beatles song in perfect harmony with each other. It is amazing how well the two voices mesh in order to produce fantastic harmonies. This performance set a high water mark for the musical guests on SNL and helped to cement the show as a true showcase for top talent and musicians who were of the moment and in top form. While they would put on many great performances in their respective careers, Paul Simon and George Harrison have rarely sounded better.