SNL Sound-Off: Justin Timberlake
THIS WEEK'S SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE: BETTER THAN CHRISTMAS.
THAT MERITS ALL CAPS. AND BOLD. AND UNICORNS. AND ALL THAT IS GOOD AND HOLY IN THIS WORLD.
912 cameos happened! "Suit and Tie" happened, with Jay-Z! The Dick in a Box Guys happened! STEFON HAPPENED! You guys, I felt like a teenager discovering The Beatles on Ed Sullivan in 1964, the episode was that good. When you've got Dan Aykroyd, Alec Baldwin, Candice Bergen, Paul Simon, Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, Martin Short and Tom Hanks popping in over the course of your opening monologue there's nowhere to go but down, but Timberlake, who hosted SNL for the fifth time last night, was pretty much flawless from the get-go. He eulogized Chavez via a "Candle in the Wind" rewrite as Elton John. He Harlem Shook it while dressed like a giant hunk of tofu. He kept a straight face when he said "I woke up with my penis in a lion's mouth" while wearing a breastplate. (That Maine Justice sketch was awkward for everybody as I don't think anyone, including Jason Sudeikis and Timberlake, knew what was going on, exactly, but we'll forget about those unfortunate six minutes for the purpose of this recap.)
Personally, I wish that this moment could've been reprised --
-- but we can't always get what we want, and this time, we didn't have to try too hard to get what we need as Timberlake brought about two of the best musical moments in SNL's recent history.
Where Timberlake shined the most was in his natural habitat, obviously: his introduction of himself was a little awkward, but the Broadway-caliber production of "Suit and Tie" was sterling, especially with a small army of back-up dancers, a full band and a brass section to boot. Oh, and JAY-Z, who looked like he had an absolute blast throughout their duet. Every time there's a Kanye dig -- Timberlake changed a verse in the song to brush off Ye's recent criticisms -- and a H.O.V.A. cameo follows, an angel gets its wings. When the set sounds as good as it looks and everyone onstage can't wipe the billboard-sized grins off their faces in the middle of a balls-out performance, you're watching the best at work, and that absolutely came across with "Suit and Tie."
"Mirrors" provided an even stronger showing for JT, as he barely broke a sweat while belting his way through the anthem's bridge. (The intro from Steve Martin, Chevy Chase and Martin Short as the Three Amigos didn't hurt, either.) The a capella breakdown, the triumphant brass blasts, the fist-pumps: I can't stop watching the video clip over and over, and as Timberlake will be hanging out at Late Night with Jimmy Fallon all week, I'm already giddy over the kind of treatment "Mirrors" will get with The Roots. Giddy.
And now, the internet collectively guffaws, swoons, cries, pukes from overexcitement and passes out in a fit of joy: