SNL‘s writers and former champions made this weekend’s holiday episode a must see. Between Jimmy Fallon hosting, and the consequent cameo-returns of Weekend Updaters Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, the ever-absurd Tracy Morgan, and some charitable outreach for the less fortunate (Rachel Dratch, Horatio Sanz, and Chris Kattan) — and the fact that it was the last ep before Christmukkah — it was a particularly inspired, nostalgic 90 minutes of ’90s/early-aughts memories with old characters (the Nomar-loving Massholes) and winter traditions (Sanz, Fallon, Kattan, and Tracy singing their Casio-keyboard “Christmas Time Is Here” under fake snow; Rockefeller ice skating finalé, etc.). Jimmy even reprised his classic Mick Jagger-in-the-mirror bit, this time playing himself with Samberg playing Fallon. Explaining the premise to those who never caught it the first time was weirdly, sadly, a weekend highlight.
It wasn’t solely a late ’90s/early aughts nostalgia reel, though: this sketch with music guest Michael Bublé, owner of the country’s #1 record in his Xmas LP, brought some contemporary laughs via blog-bait music impressions. Hence, we were baited. There’s Fred Armisen as latter day, formalwear-twitcher Thom Yorke singing “Silent Night” (it’s all about the handclap as he shimmies over to Bublé); there’s Nasseem Pedrad as post-“Paper Planes” M.I.A.; Fallon goes cute as Bieber and squinty as Sting; Jay Pharaoh as Kanye stomps baby Jesus; and finally there’s Kristen Wiig, playing the surprised Taylor Swift memorialized forever in the blog post “Taylor Swift Is Surprised” by my friend, the great Rich Juzwiak (and later stolen by Jay Leno).
If you can’t see the whole ep, you can at least be up on your memes by watching that bit above, and seeing Sudekis as Jesus give a pep talk to Tim Tebow. Good job Jimmy Fallon! And big propers to SNL for making getting older feel like fun for a few minutes; if going grey comes along with getting more SNL references, it isn’t all bad. This was a good episode!