Paula Pell, 56, has seen her fair share of SNL guest hosts and performers over the years. She was a writer for the legendary late night sketch comedy series for two decades and played a part in why it was so iconic for over 200 of its episodes. So why, of all people, was Justin Timberlake, 38, her all-time favorite guest host? She spilled the beans on her affection for the “Mirrors” singer EXCLUSIVELY with HollywoodLife at the Writer’s Guild Awards in New York City on Saturday, February 1. “Well, it’s funny because one of my favorite guests is Justin Timberlake, because I used to do the Omeletteville sketches with him,” the Wine Country actress said. “I would sit down late night listening to all those songs as pop songs and put different words and all this. He’d come in and in two seconds have every single bit of it down.”
She continued, “We always had a big laugh together, and I’ve loved any host that, you know, just because it’s the WGA Awards, we would always love hosts that remembered the writers, that revered them and that really became friends with them while they work deeply with them. And if you had a host that didn’t even really know your name or want to know your name, and you’re doing a very big sketch for them, and you’d always kind of be like, ‘oh boy, this person does not realize where their bread is buttered at the show.'”
The way how Justin treated Paula and the rest of the SNL writing staff had a lasting effect on her that was felt with other guest hosts during her long tenure there. “So a lot of them that were very dear I still see today and have a recognition with”, she said. “It means a lot, because you can become very anonymous as a writer and kind of get hidden, and then they get up and do your stuff and get accolades for it. And you’re like, ‘maybe you should have learned my name.'”
Justin is no spring chicken at Studio 8H inside Rockefeller Plaza. He’s hosted the show a whopping 5 times beginning all the way back in 2007 which earned him 3 Primetime Emmy Awards in the process!