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‘SNL’ Lovingly Mocks Thom Yorke and M.I.A.


Perhaps no late-night host aspires to rock stardom more than Jimmy Fallon, so when the onetime Saturday Night Live castmember returned this past weekend to host its annual Christmas episode, SPIN expected musical gags. And musical gags aplenty we received! Fallon sang his monologue, admitted he’s obsessed with Justin Timberlake (“Are you kidding, I think about him 24/7”), and dressed up in David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane makeup for a promo photo. Here are the three key highlights you need to see and links to musical guest (and all-around good sport) Michael Bublé’s festive performances:

SNL has discovered audiences love quick-hit sketches where stars do their best celebrity impersonations in 10-second bits. So this past weekend Bublé played straight man in a sketch in which he was joined by a series of duet partners: Sting (a high-voiced Fallon), Taylor Swift (an incredulous Kristen Wiig), Justin Bieber (a dancing Fallon, reviving a gag he does on Late Night), M.I.A. (a gun-toting Nasim Petrad), Russell Brand (Fallon again), Ke$ha (a glittery Abby Elliott), Scotty McCreery (a deep-voiced Taran Killam), Thom Yorke (an abundantly jittery Fred Armisen), Lady Gaga (a tree), and Kanye West (an egomaniacal Jay Pharoah).

Horatio Sanz, Chris Kattan, and Tracy Morgan returned to perform their holiday classic “I Wish It Was Christmas Today,” which Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas covered two years ago.

And Fallon played a bawdy Beethoven who takes a few moments “to introduce the band,” which includes an oboist who “blows in a good way” and a prankster tuba player (Sanz) who makes Fallon exclaim, “That’s Mozart, you son of a bitch. What a dick.” The 37th season of SNL just went to holiday break on a high note, and it’ll return on one too – with musical guest Kelly Clarkson on January 7.