In the past few years, whenever Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake get together for some fun, there’s usually comedy gold that follows. When their return to “Saturday Night Live” was announced, it was assumed that despite the fact that Fallon was hosting, Timberlake would probably act more as a co-host than just a musical guest. However, Timberlake wasn’t nearly as prominent as we thought – but that doesn’t mean the two didn’t make for some good fun.
Wrappinville – If Timberlake didn’t bring it on down to fill-in-the-blank-ville, this would have been somewhat of a disappoint. Thankfully, Lorne Michaels decided to start the show with a bang by having Timberlake and the host (who rarely appears in the cold open) Jimmy Fallon take on Aidy Bryant in this holiday face-off. Also, I hope whoever that terrible woman was screaming in the beginning was banned from New York City.
Baby It’s Cold Outside – Everyone has that stupid friend who thinks they’re clever by pointing out that this holiday classic duet sounds like a glimpse into a Christmas rape. Hilarious, right? No. But when you take that holiday hit and focus on the aftermath of what follows after the man actually convinces the woman to hook up, there’s an original idea. What’s actually really cool about this sketch, is it has a really charming ending.
Christmas Album – This sketch was much better when Michael Buble was the musical guest with host Jon Hamm. Even Jimmy Fallon does a Michael Buble impression at the beginning. These kind of impressions showcases are always hit or miss, but thankfully this one was mostly a winner, especially when it got to the duet portion of the album. Fallon pulling off Alan Rickman and Jay Pharoah doing some DMX were highlights.
Christmas Past – Well, the concept was better than the overall execution of the sketch, but thankfully the energy of Fallon and Taran Killam saved it for the most part. After all, it’s a very logical explanation as to why Ebenezer Scrooge is such a grumpy old man: he didn’t get any man candy.
Family Feud – Honestly, this sketch almost made it into The Worst section, only because there was far too much going on, and some of the impressions just seemed shoehorned in because of the logistics of each network team. There should have been a much better impersonation for Noel Wells to do than that weak Alyson Hannigan. Plus, why did they have Kate McKinnon play Jane Lynch instead of Ellen DeGeneres? Also, we can’t help but feel a little sorry for Brooks Wheelan, because his bit would have been a little funnier if his lack of impact on the show wasn’t true.
Kimye Talk Show – Why is this sketch recurring? Yes, the stuff that Nasim Pedrad is given as Kim Kardashian is pretty funny, but paired with the awkwardness of a forced talk show ruins all of that. It’s a lame excuse to get these two “characters” in a single sketch and it does not work at all. Oh, and while the Christmas version of the “Bound” music video was an interesting idea, James Franco and Seth Rogen did it better.
The Barry Gibb Talk Show – Well, this is a little awkward since Robin Gibb died last year, but that’s just the beginning of the awkwardness. What the hell was Madonna doing here? There’s no good reason for her to show up other than the fact that she’s Madonna, she probably asked if she could stop by, and they forced her into this sketch that marked the last appearance of Justin Timberlake for the night. It’s a shame that Madonna had to ruin what will likely be the last iteration of this sketch, because it’s pretty much done now that Barry Gibb showed up at the end (which did make things a little less awkward).
It’s redundant at this point, but Cecily Strong is going to be great at holding down Weekend Update when Seth Meyers leaves the desk. They predictably tackled the Duck Dynasty scandal, but thankfully didn’t waste one of the special guest segments by having anyone play Phil Robertson. That would have been too easy. And this time, Strong’s material might have actually been better than what Meyers had. Maybe that’s on purpose?
Billie Jean King – Kate McKinnon can pretty much do no wrong. This is probably strange for anyone who didn’t see Billie Jean King kick ass in tennis, but since she has been made prominent once more for the forthcoming Winter Olympics (which are not so coincidentally on NBC in January), here we go. This could have been a big flop, but McKinnon rocked it.
Jimmy Fallon & Mayer Michael Bloomberg – Both Jimmy Fallon and Michael Bloomberg have new jobs in 2014 with the comedian heading to “The Tonight Show” and the mayor finishing his term, so they comedically discuss their future prospects on Weekend Update. It ends with an amusing and funny discussion about how Fallon was the one who introduced Seth Meyers on his first Weekend Update appearance, and now he’s taking over “Late Night.”
It goes without saying that Jimmy Fallon felt right at home in Studio 8H. After kicking off the show with a musical cold opening, he got back into music mode with some Christmas music action that should have featured David Bowie, Bob Dylan, and Paul McCartney. But none of them could make it, leaving Fallon to do impersonations of each musician. That is until Paul McCartney showed up for a heartwarming holiday duet with Fallon.
Cecily Strong (and the women of “Saturday Night Live”) – At first, Cecily Strong seemed like she should get this on her own for Weekend Update, Baby It’s Cold Outside, and her appearances in the (Do It On My) Twin Bed and Christmas Album, but all of the women of “SNL” deserve to be the MVPs. First of all, they all crushed it in the aforementioned original music video, and Kate McKinnon and Noel Wells had some great musical impressions to deliver. Could these women mark another resurgence of comediennes to rival Maya Rudolph, Kristen Wiig, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler?
The Final Word
Though the show could have maybe used a little more Justin Timberlake, it’s actually refreshing that host Jimmy Fallon didn’t have to fully rely on him for the entire show. In the end, Timberlake only appeared in three sketches, one of which was the best of the night. Hopefully it won’t be too long before Fallon and Timberlake return, but with Fallon taking over “The Tonight Show,” we’ll see what happens. We’re mostly concerned with how the show will turn out after Seth Meyers leaves early next year.
Drake will be the first host and musical guest of the New Year on January 18th, 2014.
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