Having a stand-up comedian definitely helped "Saturday Night Live" over some of the usual stumbling blocks with guests. Louis C.K. was relaxed in the monologue, bantered well in the sketches, and knew how to make even his screw-ups funny.
Best of the Night
It is rare that the last sketch of the night on "Saturday Night Live" is the best, but Louis and Kate McKinnon going all out definitely generated the biggest laughs of this week's "Saturday Night Live." The actors played the last two customers at a bar, both drunk, desperate and finally willing to settle for each other. Their dialogue was an amusing dance of pure nonsense and subtle reveals about how beer goggles work. As the bartender looked on in disgust, the two passionately sucked face--and I mean that literally. The two left no part of face un-licked, and it was pure, horrifying hilarity.
The host turned to his stand-up roots for the "SNL" monologue, telling an amusing story about how a simple act of kindness to a senior citizen at the airport turned into an epic adventure of indentured Good Samaritanism: "I thought I was helping an old lady; now I HAVE an old lady."
Next Louis did a version of his own show, but as President Abraham Lincoln. He chatted up former slaves in bars, confessing that he "has no black friends," and had an argument with his wife about whether he was recognizable enough to get into the theater even if he forgot their tickets. It was dry, funny stuff, and probably even better if you're familiar with his FX series.
The hotel charges bit was the sleeper sketch of this week's "Saturday Night Live," with the host playing the part of a diligent clerk double-checking all of guest Bobby Moynihan's hotel charges. We're expecting the usual porn movies, but instead we get a food bill, assorted taxes, a delivery of diamonds, theft of a stuffed bobcat, and argon gas--"It's colorless and odorless, so how do you know you didn't get it?" Great slow build and perfect in-character, absurd banter between the two guys.
Catch up with all the videos on the "Saturday Night Live" video page, and be sure to check out Aidy Bryant as a wild-eyed, enthusiastic social media expert on Weekend Update, and the two overly expressive sign language interpreters in the cold open.
Worst of the Night
"Girl You Wish You Hadn't Started a Conversation with at a Party" made an appearance on Weekend Update, and her rambling non sequiturs didn't amount to much that was funny. The Australian film stars sketch had a few amusing moments as it poked fun at the good-natured but brusque manner Aussies often have in movies, but was nowhere near as good as previous parodies like the Guy Ritchie movie spoof.
The worst was the mountain pass sketch, where Louis' character has to blow a ram horn in order to summon the dude a prophesy told him to hand a crystal to. The host looked like he hated the sketch, flubbing his way through one of the lines and finding it tough to match the pre-recorded horn sounds to his own movements. His attempts to Christopher Walken his way out of the sketch made it less disastrous than it could have been, but really, there had to be better sketches out there.
Musical guest fun. performed "Some Nights" and "Carry On." It's catchy stuff, the band is energetic, and the vocals are pretty solid for the often dismal "Saturday Night Live" acoustics. It's hard to ignore, though, that the lead singer Nate Ruess, with his trench coat and maniacal grin, looks a bit like a potential flasher that you'd cross the street to avoid.
It's always a good sign when the "Best of the Night" far outweighs the worst, and the sketches in the middle had their high points as well. With the exception of that ram horn, Louis C.K. brought all his strengths to the table and helped keep the episode rolling along pleasantly from start to a big finish.
What did you think, "Saturday Night Live" fans? Did you enjoy the host's contributions or wish he'd done something a little more "out there"?
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