SNL with Jimmy Fallon: Every Skit's a Highlight

Jimmy Fallon should be feeling pretty good this morning. His hosting of Saturday Night Live didn’t just produce the best episode of this season (the positive reviews started flooding social media as soon as 15 minutes into the live East Coast broadcast), but one of the best SNL episodes in several seasons. He had a lot of help: There was a cavalcade of alumni gracing the stage, including Tina Fey, Tracy Morgan, Amy Poehler, Horatio Sanz, and Chris Kattan. But this was Fallon’s night, and he handled it like a pro. No longer the skinny, hyperactive, prone-to-laughing kid brother of the cast, Lorne Michael’s favorite son returned a sort of conquering hero. Many doubted his abilities to handle a platform like Late Night when he inherited it in 2009, but Fallon quickly proved himself to be a tireless innovator in the dusty realm of post-primetime talk shows. Now, 557 episodes of Late Night later, we got to enjoy both Fallons: The rising star, and the showbiz veteran. Let’s relive the magic!

The cold open, thank god, involved no politics. Rather, it was the first of several callbacks to Fallon-era SNL skits: The Boston Teens returned for the first time since 2004. Pat “Sully” Sullivan and his Number One Girl, Denise “Zazu” McDonough (Rachel Dratch, a welcome sight) were back, a little older but no more wiser, trying to sneak into college kegger.

Jimmy’s monologue followed, and he came out in a white sweater with black horizontal stripes and flat-front pants. Pretty casual, Jimmy! (Too casual?) Then someone tossed him an acoustic guitar and he launched into a rendition of Darlene Love (and then U2’s) "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” as he wandered around backstage. It was totally fun--and educational, as we now know that Vanessa Bayer is a Jew!--but unfortunately you can’t watch everyone dancing around in their Christmas sweaters, because it’s not online. Darn music-licensing rights! But fret not, because an even better musical sketch was right around the corner.

How many of you thought that Capital One ad starring Jimmy was a parody ad? Hands up! That’s right, all of you. First, it was in the parody ad slot, directly after the monologue. Secondly, IT STARRED JIMMY FALLON. Anyway, it was just a boring ad for a bank or whatever it is Capital One does. I’m pretty sure they were what Occupy Wall Street was protesting, so let’s move on.

Okay, awesome sketch alert:

Musical guest Michael Bublé played straight man to a parade of celebrity impressions, including Fallon’s Sting, Kristen Wiig did the Taylor Swift “WHAAAA?” Face, Fallon pulled out a silent Bieber impression (that thumping-heart dance move was hilarious), Fallon AGAIN did a spot-on Russell Brand doing tired drug jokes, Fred Armisen gave us a spastic Thom Yorke... it went on and on. This one’s a corker.

I’m not sure how you feel about Kristen Wiig’s Kathie Lee Gifford, but I can’t get enough of it. Literally, I could just watch it for hours and hours: Bad joke, swig of wine, muggy pose, fake laughter, rinse, repeat. I don’t even want to think about a post-Wiig SNL. The 1920’s Holiday Party Sketch is another good example. Her character--an actress who pretends to be reluctant to sing--was accompanied by Fallon’s character, a man who's similarly fake, and humble about his ability to dance:

“Jimmy Mirror” let Fallon parody himself, as he sat in front of Andy Samberg, doing his impression of Fallon. It was very funny and very goofy. “So sick! So sick.” Also: Yet another opportunity for Jimmy to roll out a few more impressions: Jerry Seinfeld and Kermit the Frog. And while we learned in this sketch that Justin Timberlake was a no-show, I was actually okay with it. The show revived "The Barry Gibb Talk Show" in last season’s finale. Let this be Jimmy’s night!

The four-headed joke-off on Weekend Update starred three beloved SNL alumni and Seth Meyers, and featured a lot of jokes about a toy drive at a strip club. Enjoy!

Here’s a sketch in which Beethoven introduced his band, soul-review-style. It was visually amusing and fun.

I’m going to skip the "War Horse" sketch, which was amusingly surreal but which hinged a little too much on having some knowledge of the play War Horse for my tastes, and end with the final sketch of the night, “Tebow.” What was striking to me about this sketch was how not “last sketch of the night” it was. It was really a first-quarter SNL sketch in every way. It was topical, funny, not particularly experimental or strange. And people are still talking about it today. When you consider all that, and then think that this was the last sketch of the show--well, what you’re looking at is a pretty damn good show. Cheers to the whole SNL team, and to Jimmy Fallon on an infectiously fun end to the year.

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The gentleman's club mentioned during Weekend Update is the Admiral Theatre, located in Chicago, IL. admiralx.com
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Jimmy would've sucked if it hadn't been for all the cameos by his former castmates. Tebow was the best sketch of the night, and he wasn't even in it.
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I don't get why everyone is raving about this episode. I really didn't find it that funny. I liked to Tebow sketch and the Buble sketch but that's about it...
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It wasn't that good. Their humour falls more flat than anything else. They should really hire some new blood and fire whoever is in charge now.
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This season has been the best in years.

The writing has improved greatly.

Lorne, how come?
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I loved it too. I somewhat wish Rachel Dratch would have stuck around to do a Debbie Downer, so Jimmy could have laughed, because let's face it, that always cracks me up. But for some reason, I love the "I wish it was Christmas today." Sketches. There are so many funny ones from the past, and when I saw that, I was so happy!!! I did love it. The weekend update, the monologue, were great, sure some sketches fell flat, but all in all I was pleased. However, I have to say, the Capital One commercial, I thought he was going to parody himself in the commercial, but it was just a commercial.
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Well, I guess that I'm odd man out. I thought it was one of the worst shows of the season.... Tasteless I expect and look forward to, but badly executed is another thing... and boring is just unacceptabe! Kristen Wiig is still the best thing on the show, but the best show in a long time was the Justin Timberlake/Lady Gaga episode last season. But will this deter me watching what's coming up? No way!
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Really? Damn, guess I will watch it now. Luckily someone recorded it here for some reason, so guess I will be watching the opening monologue number.
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I didn't really like the "don't make me dance"/"don't make me sing" skit, but aside from that, A+ episode!
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no new Barry Gibb Talk Show damn it
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darn good episode, everyone seemed to be genuinely having fun.
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Fallon did a hell of a job. My sketches were the Hoda and Kathy Lee, The Micheal Buble Christmas Duets and The Tebow one. But the Christmas Duets was my favorite.



"Up on the rooftop....quick, quick quick

down through the chimney....Bang, Bang, Bang!"



Micheal Buble's reaction to the gun shots was hilarious.
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briliant brilliant episode
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Not the biggest Jimmy Fallon fan in general, but he did a good job here. I think this season's SNLs have been quite great and am eager for more of them.
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I think the Michael Buble - Christmas Duets sketch is the one that's extra memorable in my mind and its going down as a classic.While a christmas tree gaga left Mr.Buble speechless n me laughing in tears,his reaction to "scot mccreery" and "M.I.A" Keeps on replayin in my mind.This sketch was perfect.Jimmy as Russel was so spot on. Fred as spasin Thom had me in a fit of tears..



There wasn't much of Keenan, Jay, and Paul but it was Jimmy's night, so i get it.

Oh! For some reason i found Tracy Morgan's dancing on the season greetings song quite funny...



"Up on the rooftop....quick quick quick

...down through the chimney....BANG BANG BANG!!"
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Oh hell yeah. I replay that over and over, it is to damn funny.
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Definitely Best episode of the past 10 seasons. Hands down, everything was great!
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Best episode of the season, and in my memory. I think I liked all the sketches. Best part was the shower of nostalgia and old cast members returning.
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Pavlov is in his grave laughing his arse off over this one...I don't get it either. Easily in the running for the worst episode in the last 2 or 3 years and yet everyone fawns over it, and when the actually good episodes come, they pan it considerably.
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What were the good ones in your estimation?
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Charlie Day, Jason Segel, Steve Buscemi, Alec Baldwin are my top 4 for this season in no particular order. But even those weren't worthy of such a glowing review as this one. Last one for me that was close to that was Timberlake/Gaga last season.
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Like, how UNFUNNY was the Beethoven sketch? It went on and on and nothing happened. Tell me, Seth, what was so fun about that?
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I just liked the various solos and the absurdity of it.
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But it went on for sooo long and it made no sense whatsoever. On paper this must have seemed hilarious but it didn't work at all (for me at least).
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I swear, EVER TIME! Every single time there's a BAD episode of SNL the tv.com review is positive and every GOOD episode gets a negative review. What's up with that?
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You can't just rant, man. Discuss. Point, counterpoint. If you didn't like something, even if you're in the minority, we can accept that as your opinion. In return, you must accept that most people did like it.
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What was your favorite episode this season?
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The one with Charlie Day as host (Ep. 707). Almost every joke was hilarious, unlike the one with Jimmy Fallon (who, I think, is way overrated, just like Dane Cook) or the one with Mellissa McCarthy which was just painfull. I just thought is was funny how opinions can differ.
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Painful. Good word to describe it. The McCarthy episode is the last one in a very long time that literally succeeded in getting me p***sed off by the end of it. That painful, and that bad.
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