I felt nervous watching Louis CK on Saturday Night Live up until the moment he spoke with a slightly different, high-pitched voice on the Fox and Friends sketch. CK isn't exactly a character actor -- at best, he's basically a heightened version of himself on Louie -- and the chances of him mucking up his SNL debut felt pretty high. Fortunately, CK proved he does in fact have versatility as an actor, and this week's episode ended up being pretty fun and will not go down in the SNL history books as a particularly awful installment... I'm telling you, my expectations were low. (Need I remind you about the "Dave Returns" episode of Parks and Recreation?) Rather than pick on the more underwhelming sketches of the night -- the aforementioned Fox and Friends, Kourtney Barnes and the Girl You Wish You Hadn't Started a Conversation With at a Party bits from Weekend Update, Mountain Pass, Hotel Fees -- let's focus on the highlights:
Cold Opening: Bloomberg's Hurricane Sandy Address
Say what you will about Michael Bloomberg's American Sign Language interpreter/Internet sensation Lydia Callis (The Atlantic for one had an interesting counter piece about her celebrity status); SNL's cold open pitting her strong facial expressions against Chris Christie's interpreter was just plain excellent. In a few finely edited minutes, we got jabs against both Christie and Bloomberg (and El Bloombito), a few Jersey jokes, a jab at Homeland obsessives (like us), a relatively tasteful gag about Callis and recognition of a major national tragedy without going over-the-top.
Louis CK Monologue
I actually just saw CK live last week, where he did this exact same joke to a much easier crowd. I loved it the first time around, but watching it performed as a full SNL monologue wasn't quite as hilarious. Then again, it wasn't the first time I've seen it, so it's hard to really critique it. See for yourself -- I think you'll agree that it was nice to not have anyone pop up in the middle and start talking gibberish.
Australian Screen Legends I'm not about to complain about a few harmless jokes about Austrailians featuring lots of screentime for Kate McKinnon and Bill Hader. We even got to see CK as a doctor -- that's what I call range!
If you only watch one clip from this episode, this is the one to do. Written by Seth Meyers, we get to see Louie lazily re-imagined with Abraham Lincoln as the star. It was dark, strange and generally amazing -- not unlike CK's regular show.
Weekend Update: Mitt Romney
As one of our last pieces of political satire from the 2012 election (anyone else super-excited that it's almost over?!), Jason Sudeikis fondly looking back at the first debate was a great way to go. For the record, I take comfort in the fact that Sudekis will be playing a politician no matter who wins on Tuesday. I do think I like his Biden more than his Romney, though. Just sayin'.
The writers are quite lucky they had McKinnon and CK for this horribly awkward sketch, as weaker actors would never have been able to pull off a desperation hour last-call drunken hookup the way these two did. If you watch two sketches tonight, watch "Lincoln" and then skip ahead to the last minute of this video where McKinnon and CK sloppily make out with tongue. I visibly cringed for at least 30 seconds straight.
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