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Justin Timberlake and Lady Gaga Shine in the 'Saturday Night Live' Season Finale

by Joel Keller, posted May 22nd 2011 12:00PM
Last night, 'Saturday Night Live' aired its 36th season finale, and the writers and producers saved one of the best episodes of the season for last.

Justin Timberlake and Lady Gaga on the season 36 finale of 'Saturday Night Live'
The presence of perennial favorite host Justin Timberlake gave the writers license to bring back characters that are very familiar to regular 'SNL' watchers. It's the ultimate sign that Timberlake is quickly becoming this generation's version of 'SNL' hosting stalwarts Tom Hanks, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin.

But added to the mix was the presence of Lady Gaga, who not only performed two songs, but did a fine job in a number of sketches, as well. Do we have a new recurring host in the making?

After the jump, we'll give you a selection of videos from last night's finale. In the comments, give us your thoughts on how JT and Gaga did on the show.In the monologue, Timberlake insisted that, because he wasn't the musical guest, that he wasn't going to sing. How did he do it? The best way he knows how: with a song.

Of course, with JT as the host, you know what the Digital Short is going to be: a sequel to the sequel to 'Di*k In A Box'. After the beauty of 2009's 'Motherlover' -- Susan Sarandon and Patricia Clarkson return as the mothers/lovers of JT's and Andy Samberg's boy band singers -- the boys get into it with Lady Gaga for the song '3-Way (The Golden Rule)'.

Gaga was in four sketches total, including helping with JT's signature character, the obnoxious mall ad mascot. I bet, though, that the cork hat, grape-laden dress, and huge wine glasses that she wore/carried for the sketch came from her own wardrobe and not made by the 'SNL' folks. In another sketch, the two stars play themselves in a celebrity version of 'What's That Name?' While Timberlake can't remember the names of women he slept with or former 'N Sync band mate Chris Kirkpatrick, Gaga remembers every detail about people she's met after concerts. Her reaction during the Kirkpatrick part -- she knows who it is! -- is priceless.

Bradley Cooper made a surprise visit to 'Weekend Update' to "Get in the Cage' with Nicholas Cage (Samberg) to talk about 'The Hangover: Part 2'.

No Timberlake episode would be complete, of course, without having him be the recalcitrant Robin Gibb to Jimmy Fallon's surprisingly high-strung Barry Gibb on 'The Barry Gibb Talk Show':

Finally, here's Lady Gaga performing her hit 'Born This Way', complete with fake baby bump and stylized birthing imagery:

Tell us: What did you think of the season finale of 'SNL?' Do you think Timberlake and Gaga did a good job?

'Saturday Night Live' airs Saturdays at 11:30PM ET on NBC.

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Thought for sure she (gaga) was going to pull the belly ring at the end of Born This Way and plop out a fetus. That would have been so cool. Gross out all the christian prudes out there.

May 22 2011 at 8:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I really don't watch SNL anymore because it's just not as good as was "back in the day" - OMG I'm like my grandfather - but I do typically watch it when Justin Timberlake hosts. He's not in my generation, I don't like boy bands, but he really does do a damn good job of making me laugh.

May 22 2011 at 7:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree that this was a very funny episode, though it certainly relied too much on previous sketches. Justin Timberlake is still one of the funnest hosts and he works well with the material.

My dream episode for next season: Donald Glover as host. Awesome episode guaranteed.

May 22 2011 at 6:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I would have to agree with Lisa. This was just another Justin Timberlake episode. The Cold Open was the only sketch that wasn't recurring. Justin's a good host, but he's not THAT good. And I find it a pity that while new (and promising) hosts like Brian Cranston, Jane Lynch and Ed Helms are mostly pushed into supporting roles, constantly recurring hosts like Jon Hamm, Tina Fey and Justin Timberlake are always given something to work with, even if it's not that good. I liked some of the sketches, mainly the monologue (which I found very well done) and the Digital Short (which wasn't as good as the other two Samberg/Timberlake songs, but still did its job just fine). Gaga's performances were strong and predictably flashy (though that pregnant thing was just plain weird). Overall, I have to say that this was a pretty overrated episode. I actually find Jon Hamm a better host than Justin, even if I hope they take a break from both of them for a while. Next season, I want to see a lot more new (and promising) hosts, and for them to be given enough material to work with. I want SNL to spread its boundaries, and try new types of celebrities, with some occasional returning ones who have not tired their appearances in the last few years (I actually wouldn't mind Betty White or Steve Martin coming back). Justin Timberlake is always a good performer, and yes, he's ALREADY a recurring host...But how about we rely LESS on recurring things next season and try something new?

May 22 2011 at 3:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Maybe I'm in the minority, but I just don't find Timberlake living up to the hype. A lot of these repeat sketches were barely funny the first time. Yeah, I'll grant you he has enthusiasm for hosting SNL, but these sketches he repeats every time he hosts bring nothing new to the table. I just don't see a lot of range from this guy, and he seems entirely too comfortable not having to challenge himself for audience enjoyment.

May 22 2011 at 12:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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