Liam Payne has praised Harry Styles' recent joke about Zayn Malik as ''funny''.

Some fans were upset when Harry, 25, pretended to forget Zayn's name as he spoke about his One Direction bandmates in his opening monologue, during his stint as guest host on 'Saturday Night Live'.

Harry said: ''I love those guys. Niall [Horan], Liam [Payne], Louis [Tomlinson] and ... Uh.. Ringo! Yeah, that's it.''

When asked on Andy Cohen's 'Watch What Happens Live', what he thought about Harry's joke about Zayn, 26, - who abruptly quit the band in 2015 - Liam, 26 quipped: ''We're not even at Plead the Fifth' yet.''

He added: ''I think it's just a funny joke at the end of the day. Obviously Zayn's circumstances for leaving were his own, it was a different situation for all of us and I suppose we all deal with it in a different way. I thought it was quite funny.''

Meanwhile, earlier this year Louis Tomlinson admitted he can't forgive Zayn for leaving One Direction and ''talking sh*t'' about the band after he quit.

He said: ''I just don't think I am mature enough, even in my own head, to give that a real answer.

''At the moment, I am still pretty mad about the whole thing. I don't think he [Malik] handled it very well. But never say never. Who knows? He chatted a lot of sh*t in the early days. I thought One Direction were pretty good.''

Louis added that one of his late mother Johannah Deakin's dying wishes in 2016 was for him to get back in touch with Zayn but when the star didn't show up to his first performance after her death, he knew the friendship was over.

Louis explained: ''I had a couple of calls with him after I lost my mum, and all the boys had agreed to come to that performance, and he didn't show, so that really bugged me...It was just seeing everyone there--Harry, Niall [Horan], and Liam--that was what I needed that night, that support. So on the other end of the spectrum, it kind of really showed. So, eh, I hope he's alright, but...''