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'Saturday Night Live' pays tribute to Prince: Watch the 'SNL 40' performance

The time: 4:30 a.m.

The place: the after-party for "SNL 40," which aired on February 15.

The situation: an epic celebrity-filled open mic night that featured the likes of Paul McCartney, Debbie Harry, and Taylor Swift.

The performance of the night (er, morning): Prince. Obviously.

To honor the legendary singer and guitar player, who passed away on Thursday at the age of 57, "Saturday Night Live" aired an entire show dedicated to the music icon. And during the show's monologue, former cast member Jimmy Fallon spoke with sincerity about what it was like to witness Prince’s impromptu performance.

RELATED: 5 reasons the music legend was one of a kind

He recalls hearing that Prince was in the house while playing emcee for the party. Fallon openly challenged Prince to come to the stage with low expectations given the late (er, early) hour.

RELATED: From Sinead O'Connor to Sheena Easton, 8 songs Prince wrote for women

“All of a sudden, the crowd parted,” Fallon recalled. “Jay-Z, Beyoncé, they part the way for this man. That’s how awesome this guy is. I think there really was a cloud of purple smoke. This dude floated, like he had rockets on his legs or something. He wasn’t even really walking. He just hovered.”

Prince then grabbed the communal guitar to perform “Let’s Go Crazy.” (Spoiler: Everyone did.)

RELATED: 6 life lessons I want my sons to learn from Prince

Fallon was shocked and delighted that his ploy had worked. “It’s like Batman,” he said. “If you put up the signal, he shows up.”

Prince’s exit was as legendary as his career. “When he finished the last line was ‘take me away.’ And Prince gets what he wants, he floated off, and that was the last time I saw him.”

Purple reign, forever and ever. Amen.

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The 'Purple Rain' impact: Why Prince's musical legacy is everlasting

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