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'Saturday Night Live': Justin Timberlake brings the funny back

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Move over, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin: Justin Timberlake has joined the ranks of repeat-hosts who always lift Saturday Night Live to a higher level of quality. Timberlake was all over the show last night, singing and acting in everything from current recurring sketches (in drag as “Peg,” he perked up Kristen Wiig’s wilting Target store bit) to musical numbers (playing keyboards during Ciara’s performance of “Sex Love Magic”), and reviving oldies (he and Jimmy Fallon popped up for a “Barry Gibb Talk Show”).

Perhaps best of all, Timberlake and Andy Samberg did a Mother’s Day-themed sequel to their “D— In A Box” digital short. This one once again managed to make vulgarity witty, as their dorky-hipster characters hymned mothers they’d like to — well, this was one for the MILFs in the SNL audience, complete with cameos by Susan Sarandon and Patricia Clarkson:

The “Weekend Update” segment featured Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, and Leonard Nimoy in an amusing Star Trek plug. But the scene-stealer was Fred Armisen’s superbly tasteless New York Governor David Paterson, bumping into the scenery he was stealing and making non-stop New Jersey jokes.

As for Timberlake, his energy and good nature seemed boundless, whether he was crooning through an opening parody number about hosting (“I love you!” someone shouted; “I love you, too!” he shouted back without missing a note) or taking part in a sketch about Irish immigrants arriving at Ellis Island. His thick-brogued “Cornelius Timberlake” said, “I dream of a day when my great-great-grandson will bring sexy back.”

Certainly Timberlake brought the funny back to SNL. Did you watch? What did you think?

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