Ex ‘SNL’ Band Leader Recalls Eddie Van Halen’s Surprise Cameo

You gotta love surprises! In February 1987, that’s exactly what the Saturday Night Live viewing audience got as Eddie Van Halen made an impromptu musical cameo on an episode featuring his wife, actress Valerie Bertinelli, who was the host that week. As you might expect, the result was truly incendiary.
G.E. Smith, who came to fame playing in the Hall & Oates band before becoming the band leader for Saturday Night Live, recalled to the Archive of American Television (as revisited in the Hollywood Reporter) how Eddie came to appear on Saturday Night Live, giving viewers a performance to remember.

As Bertinelli was the host, Eddie was hanging around that week, but as Smith recalls, the guitarist just got bored. “He doesn’t want to follow his wife around like a puppy dog, so he finds out about the music office, and he comes in and hangs out — because you ……

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