A lot of people love to complain that Saturday Night Live
has lost its mojo, and with good reason. This season in particular,
with the loss of great talent like Kristen Wiig, the sketches have been
subpar and the writing has been off. Well, leave it to Justin Timberlake
to change all of that.
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The multi-talented Timberlake served as host and musical guest and provided one of the funniest episodes the show has ever produced, certainly in the last decade. In fact, not since Betty White hosted in 2010 can I think of an episode that came even close to the level of consistent hilarity Timberlake's episode provided.
To start with, there were huge celebrity cameos galore. In his monologue, Timberlake was inducted into the Five-Timers Club (this being his fifth time as host) where he was greeted by Paul Simon, Dan Aykroyd, Alec Baldwin, Tom Hanks, Candice Bergen and Steve Martin, Chevy Chase and Martin Short (creating a brilliant Three Amigos
reunion as the trio showed up in costume later in the show to introduce Timberlake as the musical guest). That level of guest star power is a testament to Timberlake's high quality as a Saturday Night Live
host, especially since, while many of them have made frequent appearances in recent years, Bergen hasn't appeared on SNL
in over 20 years.
There were also a bunch of returning characters, from Timberlake and Andy Samberg reprising their "Dick in a Box" R&B singers on a dating show (where they competed with Aykroyd and Martin's Two Wild and Crazy Guys) and JT's signature "Bring It on Down to..." mascot, this time representing Vegan-ville, complete with a "Harlem Shake" ending.
Even the non-Timberlake moments were fantastic, from a wildly inappropriate fake commercial for NuvaBling (a diamond-encrusted birth control method) to Bill Hader's increasingly absurd and amazing Stefon on Weekend Update (his impression of Donald Duck having a Vietnam nightmare almost killed me with laughter).
Sure, the show seemed to hit a lull in the middle with the unexpected (an unappreciated) return of the bizarre and awful Maine Justice, but I think The Sober Tales of Caligula actually had some solid writing, even if the studio audience didn't seem to respond well to it.
ended strong with some vulgar, yet very funny sketches, including a romantic comedy parody with a surprise and the ex-porn stars promoting champagne, which featured references to Friends
and performing a sex act on a horse. That is easily one of the best new recurring sketches the show has.
For your enjoyment, check out just a few of the unbelievably brilliant sketches, proof that, with the right host and with strong writing, Saturday Night Live
can still be funny.
Saturday Night Live
's next new episode will come April 6 with host Melissa McCarthy (who was so good she received an Emmy nomination for hosting her first time).
(Image and videos courtesy of NBC)