Justin Timberlake didn’t appear on-camera in promos for his musical appearance opposite host Jimmy Fallon on Saturday Night Live this weekend, but he was certainly there in spirit. In fact, it seems the pop singer’s absence was acutely felt.
“Oh, he couldn’t make it, his flight was canceled,” Fallon tells Kenan Thompson on the roof at Rockefeller Center, which prompts a bombardment of snowballs from off-camera. In the next bit, Thompson, face wrapped in a scarf, pretends he is Timberlake and promises, “There’s going to be some sexy on top of it.” Close, Kenan. So close.
Later, Thompson simply repeats “Justin Timberlake” as Fallon tries to talk about how the hosting gig is a homecoming for him, and in another spot, he and Thompson mumble their way through a version of Timberlake’s “Mirrors” before the scene shifts entirely to the balcony of the SNL studio, where Fallon and Kate McKinnon sing a duet.
Fallon and Timberlake have both had big years. The Late Night host learned he would take over The Tonight Show when Jay Leno retires early next year, while Timberlake released a pair of albums, The 20/20 Experience and The 20/20 Experience: 2 of 2; hit the road with Jay Z on their Legends of Summer tour; and appeared in the Coen brothers’ new movie Inside Llewyn Davis.