‘Saturday Night Live’: Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake Crash Dakota Johnson’s Monologue

“Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon made a surprise appearance on “Saturday Night Live,” crashing host Dakota Johnson’s opening monologue as she bantered with the night’s musical guest, Justin Timberlake.

Johnson opened the show by noting it was her first visit to Rockefeller Center’s Studio 8-H since 2015, when she first hosted “SNL” on the heels of its landmark 40th anniversary special when the audience was packed with notables such as directors Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Donald Trump, months before he launched his first successful campaign for the White House. On screen a photo of Johnson in that starry crowd flashed. Johnson did not single out Trump by name, but she made a joke at the controversial former president’s expense.

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“Look at this collection of people. Crazy to be standing so close to someone who would become the most powerful person in America,” Johnson said as the camera zoomed in on Taylor Swift seated near Johnson in the 2015 photo.

At the very end of the episode, in the traditional segment where the “SNL” troupe and guests assembles to say good night to the audience, keen-eyed viewers were quick to spot comedian Dave Chappelle standing on the far right next to Jimmy Fallon. Chappelle gave a broad smile, clapped and bowed to the crowd but did not speak, nor did the others make mention of the comic who has become divisive for his unapologetic inclusion of homophobic material in his standup routines.

Dave Chappelle, pictured far right, made a surprise cameo in the show’s final seconds
Dave Chappelle, pictured far right, made a surprise cameo in the show’s final seconds

During her monologue segment, Johnson poked fun at the fact that she is at present on media tour to promote her upcoming Sony Pictures thriller “Madame Web.” She noted that she doesn’t usually enjoy interacting with journalists and that this has been a constant in her life. She then cued up a clip of herself as pre-teen, goofing off and rolling her eyes on a red carpet circa late 1990s while her father, actor Don Johnson, engaged in banter with reporters.

When Johnson made reference to Timberlake being the night’s musical guest, the pop superstar appeared on stage, feigning confusion that he was also expected to host.

“If you want me to be in sketches — I have hosted before,” Timberlake said, raising his hand to indicate that he has hosted the show five times. Timberlake made a risque joke at his faux mistake that referenced his 2006 smash hit “SexyBack.”

“First he was bringing sexy back and now he’s bringing coming back,” Timberlake quipped. After a pause, he said, “Now that I’ve heard that outloud…” and shook his head. At that point, Fallon barreled onto the stage in a surprise appearance. The “Tonight Show” host sported a disco-tastic 1970s light-tan leisure suit with a wide lapel and Barry Gibb-style puffed-up hair and close-cropped beard. “I’m here to say, break a leg,” Fallon joked.

Later in the show, Timberlake joined his first sketch, “The Barry Gibb Talk Show,” which featured the return of Fallon as Barry Gibb. Timberlake played the younger Gibb brother, Robin (who died in 2012), and was outfitted in a similar suit but with longer feathered hair. The Australian Gibb brothers conversed with their distinctive diction about the fraught state of American politics, what with Trump poised to secure the GOP nomination as he attempts to return to the White House following his defeat in 2020 by President Joe Biden.

As for “Weekend Update,” zingers about Trump and his long list of legal troubles and strange behavior on the campaign trail dominated the first half of the segment. Anchor Colin Jost ran a clip of Trump using the term “de-bank” during a campaign speech. “I don’t know what the term ‘de-bank’ means but he might have to take de-ambulance to see de-doctor,” Jost said.

The other dominant theme of the faux newscast segment was this week’s Oscar nominations and the breakthroughs achieved by nominees from underrepresented backgrounds. “SNL” regular Bowen Yang played a movie enthusiast named Ethan who came on the set to announce a new awards show dubbed “The Ethans.” Yang’s Ethan at one point gave a nod to the real-life speech delivered Jan. 15 at the Emmy Awards by winner Niecy Nash-Betts. “I want to thank me for believing in me,” Yang’s Ethan said in dramatic fashion before Jost noted that he was cribbing from Nash-Betts’ instantly memorable acceptance remarks. “Go girl with your bad self. You did that,” Ethan continued.

Two other surprise cameos came toward the end of the episode when “Shark Tank” judges Barbara Corcoran and Mark Cuban dropped in on a sketch that featured Johnson as a caustic member of a women’s book club. Johnson played a snarky woman determined to launch a company to sell T-shirts with a verbose slogan that began “I’m Okay.” Corcoran walked in toward the end of the sketch to offer Johnson’s character a deal to take a piece of the company, as is the custom on “Shark Tank.” Corcoran was followed by Cuban, who offered her $1 million, to the surprise of the other book club members.

Timberlake logged his seventh time as the show’s musical performer since he first graced “SNL’s” stage with Nsync in 2000. The veteran hitmaker is about to unleash a new album, “Everything I Thought It Was,” via RCA Records on March 15, and he’s about to embark on the Forget Tomorrow world tour, which begins April 29 in Vancouver.

The first song Timberlake performed was “Sanctified,” featuring a rap delivered by Tobe Nwigwe backed by a small and elaborately dressed choir. By contrast, Timberlake’s second number, “Selfish,” was a stripped down performance accompanied only by keyboard and drums.

(Pictured: Justin Timberlake, Dakota Johnson and Jimmy Fallon)

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