Saturday Night Live: Justin Timberlake/Ciara
by Annie Wu, posted May 10th 2009 3:32PM
(S34E22) Justin Timberlake returned for his third turn as host and it was tough not to keep expectations pretty high. I mean, if an vengeful warlock were to suddenly put a crippling curse on his music career (like they do), Timberlake could definitely fall back on being a professional SNL host. Yes, this would become a real profession, just for him.
As usual, some sketches fell a bit flat, but Timberlake's over-confident, hammy swagger made things a little more interesting. This particular episode also gave us another legendary musical Digital Short with Timberlake and Andy Samberg and a couple of all-around MILFs. It's tough to top a surprise appearance by Leonard effin' Nimoy, but "Motherlover" was certainly the highlight of the evening. Here are some other notable video moments!
Geithner Cold Open: This was pretty funny but ran on just, like, half a minute too long.The sketch also reminded me of Late Night with Conan O'Brien's celebrity surveys, though I suppose the concept isn't super-inspired in the first place. Side note: Just a few weeks until ConeBone69 is back!
Monologue: Not too shabby. It was around here that I knew that the audience would be trouble though. Did TImberlake bring all of his friends and family or did a bunch of fangirls just find their way into the crowd? Their reactions made it sound like they had never seen any SNL episode not hosted by Timberlake; this was most obvious during "Weekend Update" when they reacted with playfully offended "Ohh!"s to each. And. Every. Joke.
Mom Celebrity Translator: I thought this was going to be the obligatory Mother's Day nod to moms. I was so wrong.
Target: Is Timberlake trying to bring in another recurring character? I'm glad he chose a different Target personality because I wasn't a huge fan of his Chapstick-obsessed guy. Peg was all right; I'm a sucker for oddly-specific, TMI descriptions anyway, though.
Immigrants: God, Timberlake is such a ham. It's great/terrible. Also, I've been hearing murmurings around the Internet that the dig at Britney Spears was much more aggressive during dress rehearsal. Apparently the joke previously also addressed what a trainwreck her life has been over the last few years. I'm glad they didn't get too crazy because the casualness of the one short line they used was plenty. This was also a marvelous segue into ...
Digital Short ("Motherlover"): A follow-up to "Dick in a Box"! You asked for it, you just didn't know you did. The cameo appearances by Susan Sarandon and Patricia Clarkson weren't necessary, but they certainly didn't hurt. I wonder if Samberg and Timberlake put in their own dream-requests or if Sarandon and Clarkson just happened to be available. Anyway, this was absolutely hysterical and, best of all, it's just a genuinely well-done, catchy song.
Plasticville: Man, Will Forte must have experienced endless cringing for saying "sween" instead of "swine." Sween flu. Sween. Flu.
Weekend Update: Fred Armisen and Bill Hader's Governors Patterson and Spitzer made a surprisingly hilarious team. In other news: Nimoy. Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine stopped by to soothe the chapped hearts of old-school Star Trek fans. It started off kind of cute and then -- super-surprise -- Leonard Nimoy stepped in and made everything all right. Kenan Thompson and Bobby Moynihan's freaked out fanboy faces were very similar to my own reaction.
Barry Gibb Talk Show: God, I thought Jimmy Fallon was going to accidentally pull a Chris Farley and break that glass coffee while demonstrating how he'd double-dutch, jump rope with someone's innards. Thank goodness for their high energy though, because that's what pulls the audience through this sketch.