41 years (Deanna Barnert)

Portrait of a selfie. (Deanna Barnert)

"We're here, we're still standing and we're still on top of the heap!"

The "Y&R" stars, staff and crew had a lot to celebrate on Tuesday, March 24. Not only did the daytime drama turn 41, but it kicked off the new year with a three-year pick up and yet another week as the #1 daytime drama.

"We're here, we're still standing and we're still on top of the heap," Kristoff St. John (Neil) cheered.

Just about the whole cast showed up for the celebratory cake-cutting, which took place on stage 43 of CBS Television City, where the "Y&R" magic happens. The event started outside with a patio lunch, before moving on-stage for a speech from the head honchos, Sony's Steve Kent and "Y&R" Executive Producer Jill Farren Phelps.

"Why, you ask, is this the number one daytime drama for 25 years?" Phelps demurred. "Look around at all the incredibly talented people who have graced this stage!"

Phelps went on to rave about the cast, "from the legacies to the newbies;" applaud the "unsung heroes" behind the scenes and give props to the show's co-creators, Lee Phillip Bell and the late Bill Bell.

"Thank you for giving birth to a show that has such remarkably good genes that it continues to thrive and prosper 41 years later," Phelps said to Bell, who was in attendance.

Then it was time to take official photos, snap selfies, eat cake and rev up for a new year in Genoa City.

As fans know, the "Y&R" 40th anniversary brought big story and great ratings, but it also came with the loss of Jeanne Cooper (ex-Katherine) and some soaptastic behind the scenes drama.

"This is probably the greatest title change on the show, in a long time," Peter Bergman (Jack) notes. "Jeanne Cooper, Michelle Stafford (ex-Phyllis), Billy Miller (ex-Billy) and Michael Muhney (ex-Adam) -- that's four principle characters out the door! How does a show regroup? I'm seeing signs that people are thinking smartly. I see hints of where they're going, and it looks promising."

"We're in a good place," Daniel Goddard (Cane) agreed. "This, 41, feels very stable. We just got the three-year pickup. Our ratings are up. The cast and crew have a phenomenal rapport with each other -- the writers, production staff, everybody. The big family's very tight. 41 years is special. It's cool."

Everyone was in great spirits, naturally, and ready for more juicy onscreen drama, including Amelia Heinle (Victoria).

"I'm so happy we're around and hope we stay around for 15 more years. 20? I could keep going," she quipped.

Happy Anniversary "Y&R"! For now we have you through the 2017 season, but here's to many more years of drama to come after that.

Go back in time with Soaps.com's Y&R 41st anniversary factoids.

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- Deanna Barnert