Maybe we’d prefer an upset to shake things up, but at the end of the day, it’s tough to argue that Fallon’s Christmas show wasn’t the highlight of the entire SNL season. For one, it was the highest-rated episode since 2011 (not counting the 2012 Charles Barkley episode, which was delayed by NFL football). Not only was Fallon back, but best bud Justin Timberlake was the musical guest, giving SNL the best comedy-music power duo since Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. Timberlake more than lent a hand, starring in the Wrappinville cold open and imitating Fallon in a very funny Celebrity Family Feud sketch. But Fallon earned the title, scoring with his pitch-perfect monologue, his duet with Cecily Strong, a new Barry Gibb Talk Show, and as a rappin’ boyfriend in “(Do It On My) Twin Bed.”
Date of episode: Dec. 21, 2013
Number of times he’s hosted: 2
On the show to promote…: Christmas, the new Tonight Show
Musical guest: Justin Timberlake
TV ratings: 6.3/16
Special guests: Paul McCartney, Madonna, Barry Gibb, Michael Bloomberg
Fallon might have seemed inevitable, but Josh Hutcherson nearly pulled off a shocker, finishing an extremely close second. The Hunger Games star lost by just a handful of votes — less than 1 percentage point. As expected, though, no one dominated like last year, when Timberlake won with almost a majority of the voters. Fallon had to settle for less than 30 percent of the vote, with Anna Kendrick and Andrew Garfield making a strong showing and defeating the SNL pros, Tina Fey and Andy Samberg.
What will be interesting to see as we move into SNL‘s 40th season is whether anyone can dethrone Fallon and Timberlake as best host. Is Mr. Saturday Night a title they simply swap with each other each year? Will they go head to head next season for the first time, each hosting their own episode? Or might someone like Jon Hamm or Amy Poehler, who each haven’t hosted since 2010, lay down the law? I’m still putting my money on Bill Hader, if and when he hosts for the first time. (Guess what: Hader’s Sundance movie with Kristen Wiig, The Skeleton Twins, opens in theaters in September.)
Until then, however, Fallon wears the crown. Thanks again for voting throughout the year, and congratulations to Jimmy Fallon, Mr. Saturday Night 2014.