Brow Beat

Taylor Swift, Bradley Cooper, and Betty White Joined “The Californians” on SNL

The “SNL isn’t what it used to be” dig is common credo for audiences, but it seems to be the show’s stance as well: Sunday’s 40th anniversary special was a sustained exercise in nostalgia and sentimental self-promotion. In practice, that meant the appearance of classic skits like “Celebrity Jeopardy” and “Wayne’s World,” and the funniest such performance was a ten-minute rendition of “The Californians,” in which Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader and Fred Armisen reunite with more vocal fry than ever.

Joining them for the skit are Kerry Washington, Taylor Swift, and original cast member Laraine Newman, whose cameo is a sly allusion to her work on the show four decades ago. If the characters’ mangled driving directions don’t tickle you, Betty White and Bradley Cooper making out should do the job.