4. “Monologue” (2011)
In the days of Friends with Benefits and In Time, Timberlake was still deep into his musical hiatus — which was why Lady Gaga served as musical guest the last time he hosted the show. There was just one way for Timberlake to explain that he wasn’t planning to sing: by doing just that, in a tuneful, self-referential tour de force that wound up winning him a Best Original Song Emmy (shared with co-writers Katreese Barnes, John Mulaney, and Seth Meyers). He also nabbed a Guest Actor statuette that year for his work on this episode as a whole.
3. “What’s That Name?” (2011)
SNL does a lot of game show parodies — too many, in fact — and most of them get old immediately after their central joke is exposed. But “What’s That Name?” has a clever conceit that builds and builds until it reaches the greatest ‘N Sync joke ever told. Saying any more would ruin it for first-time watchers — so just push “play”:
NEXT: One, cut a hole in the box…