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WATCH: Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake's Cheery Saturday Night Live

Thompson on Hollywood By Maggie Lange | Thompson on Hollywood December 22, 2013 at 12:37PM

Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake brought their dynamic duo schtick to SNL this week and did well by simply infusing some of old- school lifeblood into the show.

Veteran SNL staffer Jimmy Fallon and prized SNL guest Justin Timberlake broke in for the cold open as a pair of professional "wrappers." Timberlake's arrival nabbed possibly the loudest applause all season. In addition to his mega-star wattage, the "Inside Llewyn Davis" actor/singer has proven that he's a consummate host for the show. Among a sea of new cast members, familiar Fallon and Timberlake infused some old-school lifeblood. Able to rely on established characters and personal schtick, they earned laughs more easily with their onstage goofing at the front of the show. 

While the duo carried off a handful of funny moments, the episode as a whole underperformed. The Wrappinville sketch, for example, which rewrote rap songs about wrapping gifts, was solid at the start, but by the end was undercut by messiness. Fallon's musical impressions are top notch; he continued to wheel them out through the night, especially during the "That's What I Call Christmas" fake ad: David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Barry Gibb, Michael Buble, Harry Styles--and Paul McCartney, who joined him on stage for a fairly sweet monologue. (Madonna also made a random cameo--sporting a gold grill.)

The best sketch of the night: a fantastic (pre-recorded) skit about about trying to get romantic when your significant other visits you for the holiday. There was also a decent Kimye parody that recreated Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's "Bound 2" on a reindeer. Watch these and more below. 

This article is related to: SNL, Television, Television, Jimmy Fallon, Justin Timberlake, Reviews, TV Reviews, Reviews, Video, TV Videos, Video

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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.