Skip to content

Justin Timberlake’s Cameo-Filled ‘SNL’ Sketches Outshine Musical Performances

Justin Timberlake, 'Saturday Night Live,' Jimmy Fallon, "Pair of Wings," "Only When I Walk Away," '20/20 Experience,' TV, video

Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon brought familiar faces and sketches to a Saturday Night Live holiday episode that sent the season off on a note as oddly comforting as a glass of egg nog. Timberlake, ostensibly the musical guest, stood out most helping out in various sketches. He reprised his salesperson character for an opening bit with Fallon (“Wrappinville,” above) where they sang wrapping-related variations on famous songs by Ludacris, Gotye, Michael Jackson, Run-D.M.C., and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.

As for the musical performances, the former N’ Sync singer unfortunately chose a couple of lesser cuts from his 2013 album that wasn’t among SPIN’s 50 Best of the Year, The 20/20 Experience Part 2‘s maudlin soft-pop ballad “Pair of Wings” and its loping, vocal-distorted “Only When I Walk Away” — the latter backed by laser lights and a facial projection recalling Kanye West’s Yeezus promotion. (See where the 20/20 Experiences ranked among SPIN’s Best and Worst Comebacks of 2013.)

More memorable were the cameos: Paul McCartney sang Christmas carols with Fallon, Madonna interrupted Fallon in his recurring “The Barry Gibb Show” sketch in which Barry Gibb also made a guest appearance, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg showed up during “The Weekend Update.” West and Kim Kardashian didn’t appear, but SNL revived its “Waking Up With Kimye” sketch, which impeccably ended with an “uh huh Rudolph” parody of the “Bound 2” video. Fallon also joined the cast for some ace impressions of Michael Bublé and Harry Style, in a spoof of a NOW Christmas compilation (Lorde! Guns N’ Roses! Shakira).

The show ended with a farewell to Seth Meyers, who will take over for Fallon on Late Night as Fallon heads to Tonight. The next SNL episode is set for January 18, with Drake on double duty as host and musical guest.

“Only When I Walk Away”

“Pair of Wings”

Jimmy Fallon and Paul McCartney song monologue

“(Do It on My) Twin Bed”

“The Barry Gibb Show” (with Madonna)

“Waking Up With Kimye”

“Baby It’s Cold Outside”

“Christmas Album”

“Weekend Update: Billie Jean King”

“Weekend Update: Part Two” (with Mayor Michael Bloomberg)