Saturday Night Live: Why didn’t Justin Timberlake host this week?

Saturday Night Live
Photo: NBC

This week marks the grand return of Justin Timberlake to Saturday Night Live for the first time in several years. Surprisingly, however, he is turning up as the musical guest rather than the host. He’s in the five-timers’ club, and we know that he is more than capable of bringing the funny in various sketches.

So why isn’t Timberlake taking on that role? (The job went instead to Dakota Johnson.) Speaking in a new interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1 (per Deadline) promoting his new music, the singer / actor made it clear that he did not want to bite off more than he could chew:

“I flirted with the idea of, should I host or ask to host, and then I just thought, ‘No, this album is really special to me in a different, different way.’ … I also cannot imagine that I won’t get pulled into a sketch or two. It’s only natural. And I’m here for it. That’s always fun. SNL, for me, in any capacity. I’ve hosted five, but I don’t even know how many times I’ve been on the show.”

At the end of the day, we do think that Justin could always be brought back as a sole host down the line, but for now, we almost have to wait and see how the outing goes this week. A lot has changed since Timberlake was last in studio 8H, and we certainly cannot ignore the fact that he is a considerably more polarizing figure now following some of the claims made by Britney Spears in her book.

Our feeling is that, like Justin said, he will probably turn up in a sketch or two. we wouldn’t exactly call it a cameo, though, mostly because it is something so many of us anticipate.

Related Learn more about who is hosting Saturday Night Live leading into February!

Do you think we’ll see Justin Timberlake in at least a sketch or two on Saturday Night Live this weekend?

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