Paul McCartney and Paul Simon helped kick off the 40th anniversary of Saturday Night Live. The duo appeared in the monologue and contributed a rendition of the Beatles’ “I’ve Just Seen a Face.”

After the opening credits, Steve Martin began a monologue that centered on how comedians have ruled the SNL stage throughout its history. Martin was interrupted by, in succession, Tom Hanks, Alec Baldwin, Melissa McCarthy, Chris Rock, Peyton Manning, Miley Cyrus and Billy Crystal, each of whom stated their case for their importance to the show.

Finally, Simon and McCartney walked on, acoustic guitars in tow. McCartney asked, “What about singers named Paul?”

Martin hemmed and hawed, saying it’s a narrow category, but asked to see what they could bring to the table and the audience would decide. The two launched into a verse and chorus of the Rubber Soul classic, with Simon providing high harmony over McCartney’s lead.

Martin’s response after the applause died down was, “Well, you heard them. A resounding, ‘No.’”

As they walked offstage, Simon said, “Told you we should have done 'Sounds of Silence.'”

The bit was quickly followed by snippets of clips from the early years that included such classic rock highlights as John Belushi's impression of Joe Cocker, the Blues Brothers, Simon's famous turkey costume skit, SNL producer Lorne Michaels offering the Beatles $3,000 to reunite on the show, Simon and George Harrison performing "Here Comes the Sun," an appearance by Ringo Starr on "Fernando's Hideaway,"  McCartney on "The Chris Farley Show" and performances by Elvis Costello (which got him banned from the show), Neil Young, U2 and Nirvana.

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