On Saturday (Dec. 21), Jimmy Fallon made his return to Studio 8H to host “Saturday Night Live” for the second time since leaving the series in 2004 and he brought along with him his good buddy Justin Timberlake as musical guest. Though, considering how much of the show Timberlake appeared in, a more appropriate billing would have been co-host.
Besides the high-wattage inclusion of Fallon and Timberlake, this year’s Christmas episode also attracted several big name cameos including Paul McCartney (who stopped by to sing with Fallon during his monologue), Madonna (who vamped it up as herself in the returning “Barry Gibb Talk Show” sketch), Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Barry Gibb, himself. While that should seem like more than enough celebrity appearances for one episode, it was rather startling that no other former cast members dropped by for a cameo or two, as that tends to happen during the sketch show’s holiday episode.
Let’s break down the show, sketch by sketch — with video!
Cold Open: Wrappinville
Appearing in his first sketch of the night, Timberlake brought back his very popular “(Insert New Word Here)-Ville” sketch, this time going by “Wrappinville.” Joined by Fallon in a ridiculous gift bag costume, Timberlake did his usual thing here. Bonus points go to Aidy Bryant for holding her own against these two behemoths.
First guest star of the night alert. McCartney showed up to sing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” with the host during a monologue that also allowed for Fallon’s killer Bob Dylan impression to come out to play. More sweet than laugh out loud funny.
This sketch, a celebrity edition of the game show with Team CBS going against Team NBC, was almost perfect. Fallon’s Jim Parsons-as-Sheldon impression was surprisingly solid and Timberlake’s Fallon impression was so good, it led to the host’s only major break of character of the night. (Seriously, he had to hide from the camera at one point.) The only stinker? Whatever Noel Wells was doing in that very weak Alyson Hannigan impression.
(Do It On My) Twin Bed
This digital short, featuring all the “SNL” ladies singing about getting nasty with their boyfriends while home for the holidays, featured a terrific rap from Fallon and some really hysterical moments. The bit about the cat watching is especially funny, as is the breakdown with the 7th grade photos.
Barry Gibb Talk Show
Of course, no visit from Fallon or Timberlake is complete without a return to this classic sketch. This time around, the fellas were visited by none other than Madonna (and her ridiculous grill) and a very game Barry Gibb, himself. However, the shining moment of the sketch was Fallon freaking out on Taran Killam‘s Paul Ryan for his stupid pun. Hilarious.
Weekend Update had some special guests of its own last night. First, Kate McKinnon stopped by as tennis legend Billie Jean King to discuss Russia, the Sochi Winter Olympics, and why she’s not afraid to go. (Choice line: “There is no demographic in this world that could give less of a flip than 70 year old lesbians.”)
Then Fallon and NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg stopped by to discuss their big career changes in 2014, which offered some funny moments from Bloomberg and a sweet moment with Fallon passing the “Late Night” baton to Seth Meyers.
Kimye Talk Show
This sketch came back rather quickly after its first time out, but it was 100% worth it for that new holiday version of the “Bound 2” video. Watching Nasim Pedrad bouncing on that motorcycle with those dead eyes was perfection.
A celebrity impression montage is this show’s bread and butter. Fallon’s Pitbull is a particular highlight, as is Andrea Bocelli’s surprise speaking voice, courtesy of Bobby Moynihan.
Ebenezer Scrooge is gay! That’s the whole joke of this sketch. One of the night’s first clunkers, which is likely why it aired so close to the end.
Baby It’s Cold Outside
Another kind-of icky conceit: Fallon and Cecily Strong sing the classic song, but once he gets his way and gets some, he can’t get rid of her quick enough. Again: ick.
Justin Timberlake Performances
In case you forgot, Timberlake was here ostensibly to sing. While he more than holds his own during his sketch appearances, his two performances are a clear reminder of just what this guy was put on Earth to do. He owns the stage.