‘Good Night, Sweet Prince': ‘SNL' Pays Tribute to Iconic Artist

As the world mourns the loss of pop icon Prince, "Saturday Night Live" gave grieving fans an opportunity to relive those rare instances The Purple One deigned to grace Studio 8H with his presence.

The  April 23 episode highlighted Prince's appearances during the show's 41-year history. "SNL: Goodnight Sweet Prince" replaced a previously scheduled repeat episode. 

The show even released rare footage of the iconic star, bringing down the house at the "Saturday Night Live" 40th anniversary after-party.

"Dearly inebriated," Prince told party-goers and proceeded to play "Let's Go Crazy." [[376892301, C]]

Prince first appeared as a musical guest in 1981, when he performed "Party Up." Though he appeared on the "SNL 15th Anniversary" special in September 1989, he wouldn't return to the show as a musical guest until 2006.

During his second appearance, he thrilled the audience with "Fury" and "Beautiful, Loved and Blessed." He followed that up with 2014's unprecedented eight minute set, performing "Clouds," "Marz" and "Anotherlove" all at once, as opposed to the traditional two performances spaced throughout the show. [[376892561, C]]

Of course, Prince was also routinely impersonated on "SNL" over the years, most notably during Fred Armisen's 11-year stint on the show whenever the show would trot out the popular "Prince Show" sketch, a send-up of the musician's beloved eccentricities that featured Maya Rudolph as Prince's co-host, Beyoncé. [[376892421, C]]

In the hours after Prince's tragic passing on Thursday, both MTV and VH1 began pre-empting programming in favor of wall-to-wall Prince music videos and repeat airings of his 1984 rock musical "Purple Rain." VH1's screening of the film will continue through Sunday.

Prince was found unresponsive on Thursday in an elevator at Paisley Park. His publicist confirmed his remains were cremated Saturday. The publicist did not give any details about the final storage location of the pop icon's remains. [[376585691, C]]

The cause of Prince's death is still unknown. An autopsy was conducted Friday, but officials said the results won't be available for several weeks. 

"Saturday Night Live" airs Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. on NBC.

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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