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By Natalie Gale
“There is no other live TV that’s even remotely watchable,” jokes Kenan Thompson, tongue in cheek, about football during the “Saturday Night Live” cold open last night.
The episode saw Dakota Johnson promoting her upcoming Marvel film “Madame Web,” which also stars Syndey Sweeney and Emma Roberts and was shot in Massachusetts in 2022.
Her SNL hosting debut was back in 2015, when “Fifty Shades of Grey” came out.
Justin Timberlake was back for the first time in even longer — 2013 was his last appearance on the show — following some newly released music and also some bad press after Britney Spears’ recent memoir. 
The “Social Network” cast members reunited for a show with some highs and lows — some sketches fell flat and the writers had Johnson play some pretty mean-spirited characters. However, the episode also saw some cool cameos, including Barbara Corcoran and Mark Cuban of “Shark Tank.”
It’s the AFC Championship between the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens. And it’s also the last day of real football, according to the commentators — the Super Bowl is just for commercials and Usher. “What are men supposed to do on Sunday, now?” says Mikey Day. “Go to their friends’ houses for no reason?” The Chiefs’ head coach is upset he won’t be hanging with Taylor Swift anymore. Thompson laments that besides football, “there is no other live TV that’s even remotely watchable.”
Johnson mentions her last time hosting, right after the SNL 40th anniversary special (for which she was in the audience, according to a photo of her surrounded by the most interesting lineup of celebrities — from Sarah Palin and Donald Trump to Taylor Swift and Steven Spielberg. She plugs “Madame Web,” and Timberlake joins her on stage, noting that he’s hosted five times. And Jimmy Fallon pops out dressed as Barry Gibb — foreshadowing.
A family (Day and Johnson) with a grown-up son (Andrew Dismukes) is going through some old home videos — and Day says the tape labeled “Big Announcement” was the day he found out he was going to be a dad. When they play it, it’s actually a talk show called “Is He the Father?” with Day and Johnson arguing about the paternity of Johnson’s six-month-old baby. They’re trashy and raucous (and so is the audience), and it turns out that yes, he is the father.
Last night marked this recurring sketch’s seventh appearance, and its first since 2013. It always features Jimmy Fallon as Bee Gees lead singer Barry Gibb and Timberlake as his brother Robin — Barry gets upset with his talk show guests easily, and they both break into periodic random falsettos. They interviewed Elie Mystal (Thompson), Andrew Yang (Bowen Yang) and Joanne Carducci (Johnson) about the 2024 election.
Johnson goes to the Please Don’t Destroy office to chat about the upcoming episode. And they can’t stop insulting each other. “I can tell by just looking at you that you guys loved ‘Hamilton,’” said Johnson. “I love that you’re still doing bangs,” answered one of the boys. “Is Daddio who you called to get your job?” asks Johnson. But they don’t want to go there — they declare a “nepo truce.”
It’s a commercial for the cultishly popular Stanley cups that folks have been obsessed with buying recently — a.k.a. “big dumb cups.” Johnson, Chloe Fineman, and Heidi Gardner portray vapid women “filling the void” in their lives with these big, dumb cups. “You can really taste the bacteria!” says Fineman.
Timberlake debuted a new pop-gospel number called “Sanctified,” featuring Tobe Nwigwe for his first performance of the night. His second was “Selfish,” a single he released last year.
Weekend Update hosts Michael Che and Colin Jost took on some of the week’s top stories, like Trump being ordered to pay E. Jean Carroll $83 million, DeSantis’ Trump endorsement, the first Native American woman nominated for a Best Actress Oscar, and a 99-year-old in Canada who broke three swimming world records for her age class. Tarot reader Jan Janby (Heidi Gardner) comes on to discuss the 2024 election.
During a book club meeting, Dakota Johnson announces that she’s going to be on “Shark Tank” with a million-dollar idea. “The power structure in this friend group is gonna shift.” But she’s not an inventor — it’s just a shirt that says, “Don’t ask if I’m OK. I’m OK. But if everyone starts asking if I’m OK, I might start crying.” It brings Gardner, who’s “OK,” to tears, and Barbara Corcoran and Mark Cuban come on to invest.
Devon Walker shines in this sketch, playing a baggage claim attendant while Johnson collects her lost luggage. He can’t trust that the bag is hers, so he makes her read her most recent diary entry and detail a personal medication. 
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