Justin Timberlake was totally aware of the high expectations for his
hosting gig on SNL - "Thank you, Internet," he said during the
monologue - but there was no need to worry. He was so on, he even gave
just the right sly, I-know-it's-hokey reading
to the line "Five Timers Club" when announcing his membership as a
That sketch, which trotted out an all-star line-up of mostly graying elders including Paul Simon, Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin and Tom Hanks, wasn't nearly as clever as the rest of the show, which let Timberlake take charge as everything from a singing dancing Tofu to a good-old-boy court bailiff. But the best sketch might have been the first, when Timberlake as Elton John proved that "Candle in the Wind" can be adapted for anyone's funeral, even Hugo Chavez'. (That clip isn't on-line.)
The show sometimes played like a greatest hits/reunion show in a good way. Take a look at another highlight, "It's a Date," a faux television game show with Dan Aykroyd and Steve Martin returning as two wild and crazy guys, and - even better - Timberlake and Andy Samberg as the "Dick in a Box" duo with some new songs to seduce their potential date.
Among their latest priceless lyrics: "Girls Can't Get Pregnant in Summertime." (How did certain misinformed Republicans miss that idea during the last election?)
Here's the opening and "Five Timers Club":
And here's Timberlake with Jay-Z doing "Suit and Tie":
The dancing Tofu goes through a range of musical styles to rival Timberlane's classic "History of Rap" with Jimmy Fallon, who was not not one of the SNL guests, then TImberlake will be on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" every night this week, so there' plenty of time for them to catch up.