Jimmy Fallon announced today that he would be hosting Saturday Night Live on Dec. 17, 2011, his first time back as a host since he left the cast (although he has returned a few times in cameo roles, notably with Justin Timberlake for the Barry Gibb Talk Show sketch).
What makes this a bigger deal is that the SNL writing staff of the 24nd season, back in 1998, had predicted as much — although they didn’t synch up their calendars properly, suggesting in Alec Baldwin’s monologue of Dec. 12, 1998, that Fallon would return on Dec. 12, 2011, to host the show and mock him.
Close enough, though, right?
In the monologue, (which you can see if you pay for it on Hulu Plus on Season 24, Episode 9 — or FREE* if you have Netflix Streaming! *obviously, if you subscribe, then it’s not really free, is it, but why don’t you already have a Netflix subscription?), Baldwin is visited by the “Ghost of SNL Hosts Present” (John Goodman), who first takes him past Darrell Hammond as Bill Clinton, where Hammond gets threatened “backstage” by Lorne Michaels. And this is where Fallon comes in. Exit stage left. Stage right, even!
The actual dialogue in question:
Fallon: “Beware of the Ghosts of Hosts Future!”
Baldwin: “Jimmy Fallon?!?”
Fallon: “Apparently, I become a huge star in the future. And I host the show in the year 2011. Come see.”
Baldwin: “So you really get to host the show in the future?”
Fallon: “Yeah, I’m really hot now. You remember what that was like, don’t you?”
They fly to the future, landing in 2011, where the Don Pardo 9000 robot is introducing Fallon as host, with cast members Drew Adams, Michael Butler, Arianna Cleo, John Goodman (!), and featuring Kevin Wallarski, with musical guest R.E.M. (with a badly aged Michael Stipe). (Editor’s Note: Imagine if they did guess any of the cast correctly 13 years into the future, as well!)
Enter Fallon circa 2011 onto the SNL stage, decorated for that Christmas episode.
Fallon: “I have to admit. I was really nervous when they asked me to host the show. Really. In fact, right before I came out tonight, I was so scared that I nearly took a Baldwin in my pants.”
Cut back to Fallon and Baldwin on the SNL stage in neverland.
Baldwin: “A Baldwin?!”
Fallon: “Yeah, that’s right. Ever since the night you hosted, you sucked so bad, that your name became synonymous with, well, you know…”
Baldwin: “Stephen and Billy too?”
Fallon: “No, just you.”
Fallon then leads Baldwin back onto the SNL stage circa 1998, where he’s given a chance to not suck, and you know what happens from then to now. Happy endings for everybody!
Baldwin, meanwhile, will return to host the 36th season premiere of SNL on Sept. 24, 2011. Nobody had predicted that on TV, though.
UPDATED: NBC has since wised up and put this full 1998/2011 Baldwin-Fallon monologue online on the NBC site as well as Hulu. Roll the clip!