NBC got an early Christmas present: Saturday Night Live posted its biggest overnight numbers in nearly two years with host Jimmy Fallon and musical guest Justin Timberlake.

Last night’s holiday show delivered its strongest next-day number January, 2012 (Charles Barkley and Kelly Clarkson) and — if you exclude weeks where the ratings were boosted by NFL overrun — it’s the highest SNL since May, 2011 (Timberlake and Lady Gaga). SNL averaged a 6.3 household rating among the 56 local markets metered by Nielsen Media Research, with a 3.9 rating among adults 18-49 among 25 markets measured in that metric. Last night’s results beat prior Christmas editions hosted by Jimmy Fallon (in 2011) and Timberlake (in 2006).

In addition to Timberlake appearing in some sketches, the episode featured drop-ins by Michael Bloomberg, Paul McCartney, Barry Gibb and Madonna. See our take and highlights.

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