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Highlights from Justin Timberlake's Fifth SNL, aka, the Most Enjoyable Best-Of Compilation Ever

By Courtney Enlow | TV Reviews | March 10, 2013 | Comments ()


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So, let me preface by stating that I am presently riddled with about 18 types of plague right now. I woke up this morning, quite late (sorry, Dustin), convinced that last night's Justin Timberlake-hosted SNL was, in fact, a total fever dream, replete with awesome cameos, Andy Samberg in multiple sketches as though he'd never left, and that guy who ate Dan Aykrord.

But it wasn't! It was real! And it was spectacular.

Yes, with two exceptions--one middling, one the night's sole failure--every sketch was a re-do, a compilation of Justin Timberlake's best characters (save for Robin Gibb, obviously, who I suspect is now retired for good), and, oddly but fantastically, the two best sketches from Jamie Foxx's episode late last year.

No video is available of the cold open, an Elton John tribute to Hugo Chavez, but despite having a terrible spoken John impression, Timberlake nails the song, and that must be celebrated.

The monologue was majorly JT-light, focusing instead, rightly so no matter how good at this Timberlake is, on "The Five Timers Club", aka, Paul Simon, Steve Martin, Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase (and a very Chevy but kind of weird bit with a phone), Martin Short, Alec Baldwin, Tom Hanks and an almost unrecognizable Candace Bergen. The monologue basically belongs to Steve Martin, but Martin Short wins the night by doing the Three Amigos salute.

The second sketch of the night, "It's a Date", seems like your standard SNL game show sketch, but then Andy Samberg and Justin show up as their "Dick In A Box/Mother Lover/It's Not Gay If It's In A Three-Way" guys, getting things properly '90s sexual. Then, in an "I didn't know how badly I needed this, but I really needed this," we get an appearance by Steve Martin and Dan Aykroyd's Two Wild and Crazy Guys. The whole sketch is an excuse for the two pairs to have an amazing-off, and we are the winners.

The Nuva Bling commercial could have easily been forgettable, but Cecily Strong's general superbness elevates it into hilarious. "Close. I got it from my vagina."

Weekend Update was great, but it ascended into glory with the long awaited return of Stefon.

Sober Caligula was the lone failed sketch of the night. The whole sketch seemed like an excuse for Timberlake to say penis and talk about peeing on people, and to give us a shirtless Taran Killam, which was unexpectedly lion-moistening. You go, Cobie Smulders.

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The SNL writers, clearly trying to appease the Rowles Gods, threw in another "Maine Justice." It's just as weirdly delightful as last time.

Finally, I am not sure how to express the level of hyperventilating happiness the last sketch created within me. My favorite sketch of this entire season, the Cryssals by Saboski girls, returned last night, this time shilling "Moey Chambim" champagne. It was flawless.

I actively loathe "Suit & Tie." I only tolerate its popularity because it will lead to more Singer Justin Timberlake and less Movie Stahhhh Justin Timberlake. But even I have to admit that his performance (featuring Jay-Z) was so on point that it almost made me like the song. Almost.

The next song was way better in terms of "things I'd actually listen to" partly because it very easily could have been a mid-'90s Richard Marx or Jon Secada b-side and y'all know I dig that in a song.



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  • Lyndsay

    I swear I thought John Goodman had joined the 5 timer club a long time ago - I thought he'd hosted at least as many times as Baldwin. And I'm surprised Chevy Chase was in it, seeing how Lorne Michaels banned him from ever hosting again.

  • lowercase_ryan

    Loved the Vegan Ville street tofu singing thing, thought it was great.

    Tired of Stefan, Maine justice was funny for a minute.

  • selucius

    Why no mention of the funniest sketch of the night? And... bring it on down to VEGANVILLE!!

  • marigi

    I saw timberlake in Roman drag, and read the words lion-moistening and the image of lions being sprayed with Evian in the Colosseum arena just zapped into my mind.

  • Sam Brown

    This episode was so good I can see why you thought it was all a dream, but I only wish that my dreams were this funny! There were so many great bits that I can’t even pick my favorite, but I am leaning toward Veganville sketch. I am so glad that I didn’t miss it because I am traveling for my job at DISH. I love how I can stream live and recorded TV from my DVR at home to my iPad with DISH Anywhere because it makes it so easy to keep up with all of my favorite shows even when I am out of town.

  • Protoguy

    Glam up that clam. I think JLove has the copyright on that one.

  • poopnado

    I actually watched SNL last night for the first time in years (instead of checking here to see which sketches are worth watching online the next day). Maybe it was kind of funny (?), but it was painful to sit through. The commercial-to-show ratio seemed ridiculously large (is it just my imagination?). Skit, commercial, fake SNL commercial, real commercial, musical guest, commercial, weekend update, commercial, skit...I felt like there were only 4 or 5 skits. Is that how it always is? Why do I feel so gypped?

  • DarcyMcCarbomb

    I laughed all the way through the "JT dancing around as a block of tofu" skit. It was beautiful.

  • Timberlake is the man. He's Jimmy Cagney for this generation. He sings. He dances. He acts. He does comedy. He rules.

  • apsutter

    Martin Short has been on fire in SNL this season.

  • "Suit and Tie" is like bootleg Robin Thicke. I'm so sad that it's JT's big return to music.

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    Confession-- I don't understand Maine Justice.

  • idiosynchronic

    No one understands Maine Justice. Hence it's goddam charm.

    (Supposedly the joke is a small insane community of bayou Lousiana was relocated to Maine after Katrina . . )

  • poopnado

    I wouldn't try to make sense of it--I think the point is it doesn't make sense. Last night they actually had a defendant from LA and the judge didn't seem to know much about the South.

    I much prefer Jamie Foxx's character to JT's. But I'm biased. I'd be happy if Jamie Foxx ran over my foot in a car if it meant I got to meet him.

  • alwaysanswerb

    Or maybe they're part of some kinda courtroom exchange program, or part of some kinda space time portal where they spend half of their time in Maine, and half of their time in New Orleans...

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    Thank you. I think?

  • Grand Leaf

    I think you guys just wanted this episode to be funny. It was about the same as any other SNL

  • Maguita NYC

    No. Expectations have been so low, that we are on a high right now. We might get back to reality by tomorrow. or the day after that.

  • Skyler Durden

    Do people under 30 know who the wild and crazy guys are? I can imagine millions of millennials are scratching their heads and wondering who those olds are.

  • mb

    I was born in the 80s, but I started watching SNL religiously in the early 90s and constantly sought out early episodes. So I was delighted with their appearance. But I DID have to explain them to my husband.

  • What SNL used to do in the late 90s was air the night's current episode and then play a classic one right afterwards. It's how I was introduced to "Jane, you ignorant slut," "Two Wild and Crazy Guys," and "Rosanne Rosanadanna," "Baba Wawa," among other great bits. I actually sometimes looked forward to those classics over the current episodes.

    So to answer your question (as I'm 26): yes, people under 30 know who the Wild and Crazy Guys are. :3

  • csb

    They're in enough YouTube clips and 'Best of' segments that plenty of people should have become aware of them as part of classic SNL.

  • Genevieve Burgess

    I seriously doubt millions of millennials are watching SNL at all. The ones who do probably know enough to recognize them. But can you really blame people for not being familiar with a sketch that hasn't been a regular feature for over 30 years? It's a cute throwback to people who know it, though.

  • Snath

    I love the two porn star girls. Probably the funniest thing SNL has done in years. Foxx's was good, but I think this one was even better.

  • sean

    Did anyone else pull a muscle laughing at Stefon and the Donald Duck having a Vietnam flashback?

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    I'm pretty sure I tore some of the cartilage connecting my ribs to my sternum.

  • QueeferSutherland

    Last night was a lot of fun, but JT's talent and the plethora of guest stars really papered over the fact that this writing team still has no idea how to create a funny original idea. The three skits that didn't feature a guest star or a recurring character/premise -- the cold open, Caligua, and "She Has a Dick" -- were awful. SNL should just replicate last night's formula for the rest of the year until they can hire and mold a whole new writing staff over the summer.

  • dizzylucy

    That was my impression too - it was funny, one of their best episodes in a while, but such a retread of previous skits and leaned so heavily on the guest stars. The few originals were pretty bad.

    I was disappointed they did Maine Justice again - the first one was hilarious because it was just so out there and bizarre, but now we know the joke and what to expect.

  • Dutch

    JT is too busy to be host and musical guest every week.

  • "a mid-’90s Richard Marx or Jon Secada b-side". Perfect.
    Otherwise, JT saved an otherwise abysmal season of SNL.

  • pumpkin

    Why is it that I just cannot like Justin Timberlake?

    I loved all these sketches, but I don't love him.

  • Maguita NYC

    Ever since he pissed on Britney, then Janet Jackson, then Cameron Diaz, then Gaga (okay, everyone pisses on Gaga. Even Gaga fights with Gaga), etc.

    This boy lacks manhood, thus emitting major douchebaggery.

    Also, acting. He's best at performing on stage, in front of crowds, however the extent of his success in comedy sketches, he hasn't convinced me yet of his value as a movie "Actor".

  • Alex0001

    You act like all of those people don't deserve to "get pissed on".

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    He has serious douche-vibes.

  • I want some Monica and Chandler champagne. The only thing that sketch was missing was Jay-Z rapping "It's truffle season." (I *still* die every time I hear that lyric.)

  • fartygirl

    how was the chevy bit with the phone weird? it was super old school and awesome!

  • Az

    I laughed so hard at that... it was like Clark W. Griswold was back for one brief, shining moment.

  • I think it was the audience reaction (or lack thereof) or the fact that he was kind of slow and slurry -- it was off-putting. But SO Chevy.

  • Bobbs3k

    Science!

  • Lotney

    OK.. I just saw the first 5 timer sketch and it was so freaking awesome in so many ways that it brought a happy tear to my eye.

    Before continuing with the show I came here to see if I should lower my expectations to avoid disappointment but God dammit... it only made it worse. I'm get back to the show now that I got what I was looking for from the first paragraph.

    Probably not the best way to watch SNL.

  • ViciousTrollop

    Maine Justice was missing a random appearance by Charlie Day.

  • Rochelle

    Almost everything is missing a random appearance by Charlie Day

  • Az

    The only mistake in that dating show clip is not having Kattan and Ferrell behind door number one.

  • .. that would have been brilliant on so many levels.

  • Dutch

    It's amazing what the writers can do with a host who can really handle the improv beats it takes to do sketch comedy. On a sadder note, it's a sad night in America when you discover Elwood looks more like Jake now.

  • thatstrangewoman

    Elwood is bigger than Jake ever was. Elwood is in "John Goodman in Blues Brother 2000" territory

  • Green Lantern

    I also thought the "Monica & Chandler" champagne skit was the single funniest of the night.

    "BUBBLES. Yay."

  • pupmkin

    It is just so hilarious!

  • Az

    "I sprained my wrist jerking off a horse..." I literally spit my drink out when she said that. Bring Robin Byrd back to do a skit with these two. Please.

  • sean

    Yes, I was amazed that one got on air.

  • Dutch

    The best thing to give a loved one? "Oral!" "Champgane!"

  • aroorda

    I think I may be the only person on the planet that likes suit and tie. I hated the entire last album till I gave it 10-15 listens then it clicked. Suit and tie was the same way.

  • John W

    I wish I knew what the appeal is of the Stefon character. Or Justine Timberlake for that matter....

  • ViciousTrollop

    Justine Timberlake is a gorgeous modern woman (get it gurl!) and a totally faboosh actress. Like, hello! Excuse her beauty.

  • John W

    My bad. I meant Justin. Still he's a handsome woman.

  • ViciousTrollop

    I think he's prettier than me!

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