'Goodnight Sweet Prince:' Tributes Fill the Airwaves

Prince
Prince performs during the 2007 Super Bowl halftime show in Miami. Mike Blake/Reuters

Two days after the legendary guitarist's sad death, actors and musicians around the world honored the one and only Prince on Saturday night. Elton John remembered the artist in Las Vegas, Bruce Springsteen did so in Brooklyn and the entire cast of The Color Purple honored him on Broadway, but the most epic remembrance came from Saturday Night Live.

Jimmy Fallon opened an episode of the show titled "Goodnight Sweet Prince" and devoted entirely to the icon with a somber introduction: "Other people may have been on the show more times or performed more frequently but there was always something different about a Prince performance. It was special. It was an event. It was Prince."

Jimmy Fallon on Prince

Jimmy Fallon shares what Prince meant to him.

Posted by Saturday Night Live on Saturday, April 23, 2016

The show also broadcast footage for the first time from a Prince performance of "Let's Go Crazy" at the afterparty of SNL's 40th Anniversary episode, with Fallon, Chris Rock and Haim on stage before a star-studded audience.

And it aired a performance from Prince's 1989 appearance. He played "Electric Chair."

The show's dedication paid off. According to Nielson, the show's ratings Saturday were its best for a spring episode since 2013. That's likely more attributable to the actual footage of past Prince performances than the sketch with Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen depicting him:

If Twitter is any indication, that part of the show wasn't SNL's finest:

Damn. #SNL can't even end a tribute show right. Nobody wanted to see those imitation sketches at the end. Come on 😠 #snlprince

— ⚡Mr. Brightside (@Will3K85) April 24, 2016

Although others were thrilled at SNL's tribute.

Watching the #SNLPrince tribute there is no doubt the man was cool, sleek and a musical genius. Undoubtedly he got the funk #MissingPrince

— Carolina Vila (@Vila_Carola) April 24, 2016

Nice work from NBC tonight. Far too many commercials but...devoting the show to all of his performances on it is gold. #SNLPrince

— Patrick Toth (@PFTinTN) April 24, 2016