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.