Justin Timberlake’s Kanye West Diss Helps ‘SNL’ Score Huge Ratings

Justin Timberlake returned to his rightful throne as King of Entertainment over the weekend during his most recent double-duty stint at Saturday Night Live. Whether he was doing a pitch perfect Elton John impression, bringin’ it on down to VeganVille, reuniting with his “Dick in a Box” buddy or slyly dissing Kanye West (more on that in a sec), US viewers ate it up. The March 9 episode of SNL scored its highest ratings in 14 months, pulling in a 5.9 rating and 15 share, according to The Hollywood Reporter

The numbers were the show’s best since the January 7, 2012 episode hosted by Charles Barkley and featuring Kelly Clarkson as the musical guest. And that episode had the added bump of an NFL playoff game lead-in. 

Timberlake’s most recent show was his fifth as host, and so his opening monologue included a star-studded welcome into the Five-Timers Club, featuring comedy legends such as Steve Martin, Chevy Chase and Alec Baldwin. The added star power certainly didn’t hurt in the ratings department, and it didn’t end there: Jay-Z showed up unannounced during JT’s “Suit & Tie” performance.

Speaking of which, Timberlake used that song to deliver a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it response to Kanye West‘s recent diss about the track. If you’ll recall, in February Yeezy told a London crowd, “I got love for Hov, but I ain’t fuckin’ with that ‘Suit & Tie.'” So, during that very song on SNL, Justin changed one line in the second verse to, “My hit’s so sick got rappers acting dramatic,” pointing right at the camera during the change-up. (See it at the 2:15 mark). Cold as ice, classy as Hell.

Based on these ratings, it looks like we know who America will back during a JT-Kanye feud.