Celebrating his fifth appearance as host on Saturday Night Live, Justin Timberlake astonished audiences this weekend as both host and musical guest. Timberlake’s nine-minute opening monologue honored him as a member of the “5-Timers Club” and featured fellow 5-time hosts Paul Simon, Tom Hanks, Steve Martin, Candice Bergen, Chevy Chase, and Alec Baldwin. Timberlake’s much-anticipated return to SNL drew ratings according to Nielsen.com that were the highest of the season and preliminarily rated the episode 5.9, which lends a significant boost to NBC.
SNL and Timberlake made sure to bring his “Suit and Tie” billboard favorite complete with rapper Jay-Z, but also continued to surprise the audience with a trail of former SNL members such as Dan Aykroyd, Martin Short, and Andy Samberg, who joined the SNL stage in several comedic sketches. Of note is Timberlake’s cold open, which, according to Entertainment Weekly, rarely includes the host, and again establishes his beloved place in the SNL family.
The episode played homage not only to Timberlake, but also to JT’s past SNL sketches that were fan favorites, once more attesting that this phenomenal host earned a well-deserved place in hearts of the SNL audience and family alike.