This past season has found three pop stars try their hand at hosting Saturday Night Live (Bruno Mars, Adam Levine, and Justin Bieber). Yet those episodes only left viewers asking one thing: when is Justin Timberlake going to come back to host? Well, with his first album in seven years due out on March 19, this week proved to be the perfect time for Justin Timberlake to host for his fifth time.
But how did JT do this time around? Would the singer live up to everyone’s expectations or would it leave many disappointed? While the evening started off a little slow, Timberlake quickly proved why he’s considered one of the best SNL hosts in the last decade and rightfully deserves to join the “prestige” Five Timers club.
Cold Open: Elton John Sings At Hugo Chavez’s Wake
It was a given that this week’s show would touch upon Hugo Chavez’s death in some way considering his outlandish past comments. And having Elton John sing a new rendition of “Candle In The Wind” in honor of the late Venezuelan president is a funny concept. Justin did a fine impersonation of Elton John (which shouldn’t come as a surprise considering he once played the singer in a music video). However, the cold open was missing something that would’ve made it a great opening. It also didn’t help that Justin seemed to have trouble figuring out which camera to look into when shouting “Live From New York, It’s Saturday Night!” Though it wasn’t originally available online likely due to music rights, bootleg video has already made its way around the web.
Monologue: The Five Timers Club
Given how popular Justin Timberlake is as a host, it’s no surprise that Saturday Night Live would spare no limit on his fifth time hosting. Hence why previous hosts and former cast members like Steve Martin, Paul Simon, Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase, Martin Short, Tom Hanks, Alec Baldwin and even Candice Bergen pop up during the monologue to officially welcome Timberlake into the Five Timers Club. While it was great to see all of these stars on the same stage, two things ran through my mind while watching: 1) the element of surprise was definitely ruined thanks to Steve Martin, who on Friday tweeted this photo, and 2) the same exact premise was essentially done when Tom Hanks hosted for his fifth time (minus Elliot Gould and with the addition of a few more big names).
It’s A Date
This dating game parody was already a winner the second Justin and Andy Samburg appeared onscreen as the “Dick In A Box” duo to portray contestant #2. The premise got even better when Martin and Aykryod reunited as the Festrunk Brothers (aka, the Wild and Crazy Guys) to portray contestant #3. Add in great writing, as well as great performances from Bobby Moynihan, Vanessa Bayer and Bill Hader, and you’ve got the best skit of the entire night.