SNL MVP: Jimmy Fallon Plays the Hits

We knew what was coming when Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake were announced as host and musical guest for Saturday Night Live's holiday special — a whole lotta' bromancing and big guest appearances. 

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We knew what was coming when Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake were announced as host and musical guest for Saturday Night Live's holiday special — a whole lotta' bromancing and big guest appearances.

It was clear this was the Jimmy and Justin show from the episode's beginning. For the cold open, Timberlake donned his old sausage suit to huck his gift-wrapping business, to the chagrin of Aidy Bryant, who was innocently singing Christmas carols to draw people to her wrapping table. But soon Fallon joined the fun as a gift bag, and the two performed some old rap songs, pushing Bryant to the background and forgetting her completely for "Live from New York!" Paul McCartney popped up during the monologue, apparently arriving by a Citibike, late because of horrible traffic, to sing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," which was actually a touching little moment. But those two sketches indicated where the rest of the show was going, towards more guest appearances — Bloomberg! Madonna! the real Barry Gibb! — and Jimmy and Justin staring into each others eyes.

Because Fallon and Timberlake are friends, and they like to make jokes together. It's great! They're great! The two have a wonderful chemistry. But sometimes the rest of the cast gets shuffled to the side while Justin and Jimmy ignore everything that's happening around them. For instance, parts of this Family Feud sketch might be hilarious if given a chance to breath. John Milhiser's Jon Cryer, Noel Wells' Alyson Hannigan, Taran Killam's Ashton Kutcher and Brooks Wheelan's Brooks Wheelan impressions have so much potential, but they are quickly forgotten for Justin and Jimmy makin' each other laugh.

Poor Brooks Wheelan. :(

If you played our drinking game, well, drink some Gatorade this morning. As much as the double J's dominated your attention, the women were the episode's real highlights. 

Second Runner-Up

The Olympics are around the corner, and besides Jimmy Fallon taking over the Tonight Show in February, the Obama administration announced this week Billie Jean King will attend as part of the official U.S. delegation. So of course Kate MacKinnon's impression of the brash former tennis star and LGBT icon on Weekend Update was fantastic, a "big gay middle finger" swirling into a "big gay tornado" of laughs. There were Melissa Ethridge jokes, sure, but "if you come to my window, I'll punch you right through the glass." So, yeah. You heard the lady.

First Runner-Up

Without question the night's best sketch was the all-girl plus Jimmy music video, "Let’s Do It In My Twin Bed." Going home for the holidays and bringing new flames with you, or reigniting old flames while navigating the party circuit, always gets complicated when crashing in your old room at your parent's house, as these ladies' explain. This is a pitch-perfect sketch from beginning to end, and everyone has a moment to shine here, but we'll pick Bryant, because her verse might be the best one, and we don't want to start another thing with Jean.

(Also: those 7th grade pictures!) 


If there was any doubt still lingering, this week cemented that Weekend Update is in good hands when Jimmy Fallon takes over The Tonight Show in February, and Seth Meyers moves to Late Night. Cecily Strong's become the ideal late Update anchor, and as sad as it will be to see Seth leave, you should be comfortable now that she's come into her own. But what really pushed Strong over the top tonight was her duet with Fallon, singing a love 'em and leave 'em and love 'em again take on "Baby, It's Cold Outside." Fallon tried to heartlessly kick Strong out in the snow after a late night tryst, but the weather, and her charm helps Fallon realize that maybe he's stumbled into something here.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.