Given that Saturday Night Live will celebrate its 35th anniversary later this year, we doubt Lorne Michaels needs any advice from us about how to run a successful show. However, after watching this weekend’s mostly harmless episode hosted by the charming Dwayne Johnson—note to studios: put him in a musical comedy co-starring Anne Hathaway post haste—we have a small suggestion: make Justin Timberlake a recurring cast member. As he does every few episodes, the superstar popped up on Weekend Update, this time as the boyfriend of comic strip character Cathy (played with horrifying accuracy by Andy Samberg), and proved to be one of the highlights of the entire show. The man is hilarious. Get him a contract already!
It might sound crazy to even suggest that someone as famous as Justin Timberlake would ever be a cast member on Saturday Night Live. But since he’s already appearing more than some of the actual cast members (ahem, Bobby Moynihan), it seems like a distinct possibility. In fact, we think the argument could easily be made that Mr. Timberlake is as good, or better, than every other current male cast member when it comes to participating in sketch comedy. Only Bill Hader seems to possess the same levels of versatility and hilarity that Mr. Timberlake has in his arsenal. When JT (we can call him that because we go way back) appears in a skit, it isn’t as a stunt; he’s not there to play himself in a walk-on appearance just hoping to get a huge applause. Quite the opposite: He’s almost always in character and willing to do whatever it takes to get a laugh. This includes putting on a leotard and high-heels as one of Beyoncé’s backup dancers
We’re not saying that Mr. Michaels should build the entire show around Mr. Timberlake, Will Ferrell-circa-1999 style, but why not give him “featuring” status? That way fans can watch each week hoping that Mr. Timberlake will appear, but no promises are made. And if he’s busy working on his next album, or just wants to stay at home and watch something On Demand with girlfriend Jessica Biel, he doesn’t feel the pressure to show up at all. We’re sure that getting just 10 appearances per year from Mr. Timberlake would help boost Saturday Night Live‘s sagging post-presidential-election ratings, at least until another presidential election cycle starts up in two years. Now, if NBC could only find a way to get him on Chuck…
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