Justin Timberlake mocked recently deceased Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez during the cold opening of last night’s Saturday Night Live.
Pulling double duty as host and musical guest, Justin Timberlake began his fifth run as SNL host with a cold open that saw the “Suit Tie” singer as Elton John, singing “Candle in The Wind” for Chavez.
Timberlake mocks Chavez with the serenade, prefacing his performance by telling the audience that everything he is about to sing is true. From there, he works in jabs against the deceased Venezuelan leader, referencing the time Chavez called George W. Bush “the devil,” and brought two pistols to a press conference.
He also sings that “capitalism killed Mars,” a reference to the late leader’s infamous UN speech during which the claimed made the bizarre and explosive claim.
“You said the U.S. causes earthquakes and you outlawed Coke Zero. And on your shoulder sat your parrot with a matching red beret,” Timberlake as Sir Elton sang.
Timberlake also said Chavez helped to make Venezuela the kidnapping capital of the world. On a positive note, he sings that Chavez did increase “milk production by almost 50 percent” and listed hosting his own TV show Hello Mr. President as one of his accomplishments.
“You were hero to your people and you never gave up a fight. We’ll Miss you Hugo Chavez, because Live from New York it’s Saturday Night,” Timberlake concluded.
Chavez wasn’t Timberlake’s only target on Saturday Night Live last night. The singer/actor/dancer (aka “triple threat”) also shot back at rapper Kanye West during his performance of “Suit Tie.”
Kanye went on a rant against the music industry in London recently including a dis aimed at Justin Timberlake’s new single with Jay-Z. During his SNL performance, Timberlake changed a line in the second verse of “Suit Tie” to answer Kanye’s criticisms.
“And aw, sh** so sick, got a hit and picked up a habit,” is the original line, but for the SNL performance, Timberlake changed it to “My hit’s so sick, got rappers acting dramatic.”
Here’s video of Timberlake’s cold open on last night’s SNL. We’ll post a better one when it becomes available, but let us know what you think. Did Timberlake mock Chavez, or was the cold open in good humor?