Jimmy Fallon's first stint as an Saturday Night Live host meant many veteran SNL performers showed up for the last show of 2011. Rachel Dratch was Denise to Fallon's Sully in the cold open; Amy Poehler showed up, too; Chris Kattan, Tracy Morgan and a svelte Hortaio Sanz performed a song with Fallon; and, in the highlight, Fallon and his Weekend Update co-host Tina Fey had a joke-off with current Update host Seth Meyers and Poehler.

The show played to Fallon's strengths with some fun celebrity impressions—a Michael Buble Duets album gave Fallon a chance to portray Sting, Russell Brand and Justin Bieber— and his monologue acknowledged how he often cracked up and broke character. There were also shout-outs to Tim Tebow's ridiculous luck and Regis Philbin's retirement.