Timberlake's return to Studio 8H for the first time in over a decade also included a performance of another new track, 'Sanctified,' and a fun skit featuring him and Jimmy Fallon
Host Dakota Johnson introduced the “Mirrors” singer for his first return as musical guest in over a decade this weekend.
That moment saw him perform a second new track, "Sanctified," which featured rapper and singer Tobe Nwigwe, who also made an appearance on the SNL stage.
That track was introduced by SNL alum and Timberlake's close friend, Jimmy Fallon. In fact, Fallon was a frequent presence throughout the night, popping up alongside Timberlake during Johnson's monologue and as he and the singer revisited former characters from the sketch series, including once again portraying the Gibbs brothers.
Timberlake also joked about his "comeback" during the actress' opening monologue, having joined her on stage after she mentioned the movie they had starred in together, 2010's hit drama, The Social Network.
"What are you doing up here, are you lost?" Johnson, 34, asked the singer, who then revealed that he had heard his name mentioned and thought it was his cue.
The actress and singer then had some back and forth where Timberlake offered his assistance for sketches and noted he that had previously hosted SNL himself, prompting Johnson to remind him that "was 10 years ago."
"Anyway, I'm so happy you chose my show for your comeback," Johnson told the singer. "Comeback, is that what we're calling it?" he responded, leading the actress to explain she had "meant that in a good way."
"OK, I see what this is. This is where we make a joke like, 'First he was bringing sexy back, and now he's bringing coming back,' " Timberlake said, to the delight of the audience, before wishing Johnson good luck.
The former *NSYNC member made numerous appearances on the late-night comedy sketch show in the 2000s and early 2010s: five times as host and now six as musical guest.
On Jan. 19, Timberlake began teasing his first solo album in six years, Everything I Thought It Was, accompanied by a preface narrated by Benicio Del Toro. Last Friday, he shared an Instagram post using SNL’s trademark post-it notes to confirm his musical guest spot. He later released "Selfish" along with its music video.
“Selfish” calls back to his early 2000s R&B-tinged work, produced by longtime collaborator Timbaland. The FutureSex/LoveSounds producer told Variety in a 2023 interview that he and Timberlake had wrapped up his sixth studio album. Timbaland said, “We had songs that maybe were too complicated, so we said we want it to feel like FutureSex part two, so we did songs that will fit that.”
In the years between his most recent LP Man of the Woods and Everything I Thought It Was, Timberlake has starred in four films, including two Trolls movies. Trolls Band Together, the third installment of the animated musical comedy movie series, saw the pop star reunite with his old boyband to release their first song in 21 years, “Better Place.”
Saturday Night Live airs Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. ET on NBC. Everything I Thought It Was is set for release on March 15.
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