Jimmy Fallon hosted “SNL” Saturday with a little help from best buddy and musical guest Justin Timberlake, who, between his two songs and three sketches, may have actually shouldered the majority of the load.
The two BFFs continued their bromance this weekend, jointly recycling tested sketch material and welcoming A-list guest stars to the NBC staple, including Paul McCartney, Madonna and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Following a Fallon/Timberlake/Aidy Bryant “(Bring it on Down to) Wrappinville” cold open — the latest in the regular rapping-mascot Timberlake sketch — McCartney joined the network’s “Late Night” host for a holiday monologue duet. Later, Madonna, as herself, complimented the Jimmy and JT duo during the newest version of the old “Barry Gibb Talk Show” skit.
Fallon and Timberlake also teamed up for the first sketch of the night, a celebrity “Family Feud” episode hosted by Kenan Thompson as Steve Harvey. The familiar format allows “SNL” cast members an opportunity to shine by bringing their best impersonations to an ensemble effort. The game show matchup pitted CBS actors versus NBC stars, with Noel Wells giving the Studio 8H audience a quirky Alyson Hannigan for the former, and Brooks Wheelan playing … Brooks Wheelan for the latter.
But above all the trained talent, Timberlake got the biggest laughs doing his best Fallon impression for Team NBC. The biggest of those laughs came from Fallon himself, who portrayed Jim Parsons from “The Big Bang Theory” in the sketch. The former “SNL” star never could keep it together live, and Saturday night proved to be no exception.
The best sketch of the night came next, a filmed effort titled “(Do it on My) Twin Bed,”which showed off the talents of the ladies of “SNL,” who belted out an upbeat dance tune about a familiar topic this time of year: trying to get freaky with your grown significant other in your childhood bedroom after traveling home for the holidays. Not a very sexy proposition, especially with seventh grade class portraits and middle school trophies still adorning the walls.
Shortly thereafter, “Weekend Update” featured rising star Kate McKinnon as tough-as-nails Sochi Games U.S. representative Billie Jean King. While McKinnon was excellent, special guest Mayor Bloomberg landed some of the best jokes on the fake news program, including when he explained his future plans: “I’ll be enjoying a life-long dream of drinking a small soda on a non-smoking beach.”
Later at the news desk, Fallon officially passed the “Late Night” baton to exiting “SNL” head writer and “Weekend Update” host Seth Meyers.
The show wound down with some forgettable sketches, including a Kimye Morning Show, Fallon playing a gay Ebenezer Scrooge, and a pre-filmed “Now That’s What I Call Christmas” musical spoof that didn’t quite have legs.
But the final sketch offered viewers a payoff that will have to last until Jan. 18, the next live show, which features Drake as host and musical guest. In the night-ender, Fallon and Cecily Strong performed an updated, more-realistic version of “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” where after convincing his lady to stay for a useful additional 12 minutes, Fallon suddenly touted the virtues of calling it a night and heading their separate ways.
Watch “Wrappinville,” Fallon’s monologue, “Family Feud,” “Do it on My (Twin Bed),” “Barry Gibb Talk Show” and “Baby It’s Cold Outside”: