I don’t know if everyone has heard, but there was a huge storm that hit the northeast last week. I know, I know, sometimes it’s hard to get news these days, but trust me, there was a storm.
The storm and its resulting destruction was (still is) so bad that there was a momentary thought that there wouldn’t even be an episode this week. Various shows including The Daily Show and 30 Rock had to shut down production for a couple of days. There were cast members stranded in airports across the country (you best believe as a Taran Killam fan, this caught my attention!)
[pullquote_left]…when the episode started, I’ll admit I was a little nervous as to how successful it was going to be. Thankfully, I need not to have worried.[/pullquote_left]Thankfully, the staff at 30 Rockefeller found a way and the episode went ahead as scheduled. The host was Louis C.K., who actually has a rather long history with SNL and sketch comedy. He auditioned for SNL 19 years ago and (obviously) did not make the cast. He did, however, contribute to the popular “TV Funhouse” bits as a writer. C.K. was also part of the writing team for Late Night with Conan O’Brien (another member of the SNL family) and was the head writer for the brief The Dana Carvey Show. With all that, it’s not really surprising that he was asked to be a host. It is surprising, however, that he agreed. It’s no secret that Louis C.K. is not comfortable unless he is being Louis C.K.- a trait that is somewhat common amongst stand up comedians (Jerry Seinfeld made quite the career for himself being “Jerry Seinfeld”). So when the episode started, I’ll admit I was a little nervous as to how successful it was going to be. Thankfully, I need not to have worried.
Usually it’s really easy to guess what might be the cold open if you watch the news throughout the week. I just happened to turn to the Weather Channel (well, their YouTube channel) last week when they cut to Mayor Bloomberg’s press conference and as I was watching the sign language interpreter, I thought to myself, “SNL is so going to use this.”
Called it! Seriously, that cold open was fantastic. There are some saying it was “too soon” and perhaps they shouldn’t mock the interpreter as the hearing impaired rely on facial expressions when communicating but come on, that lady was way too entertaining to not use it. I don’t feel as if they were disrespectful at all. Sometimes you just have to laugh at things. I do have to wonder if that’s the first time “Live from New York, It’s Saturday Night” has been translated into ASL on the show. It would be a crime to not mention Bobby Moynihan and his Chris Christie impression. I damn near stood up and cheered that was so good. Then add in the recently missing Nasim Pedrad (seriously where has she been?) as his translator and I was dying. So perfect.
Not surprisingly, Louis C.K. chose to do a short stand up routine as his monologue. It was very reminiscent of George Carlin on the premiere episode of Saturday Night Live way back in 1975.
The stand up monologue was obviously good as Louis C.K. is a very good stand up comedian. No surprise there.
I’m so glad that Taran Killam was able to make it back to NYC because I love when they do the Fox and Friends sketch. Louis C.K. was entertaining as the FEMA agent but as usual, it was the “corrections” that make that sketch. My favorite this week was “Women’s vaginas are below their waists”. You learn something new everyday.
[pullquote_right]Lincoln as Louie? Perfect.[/pullquote_right]The digital short this week was pure genius. I loved the “Sad Mouse” short on Bruno Mars’ episode but this one probably edged that out as my favorite for the year so far. If you haven’t seen Louie then it probably didn’t think it was all that entertaining but seriously, Lincoln as Louie? Perfect. You can only imagine Abraham Lincoln doing a set about his certifiably crazy wife (another Aidy Bryant sighting!)- I’d watch that.
The Australian Screen Legends was mildly entertaining. It certainly wasn’t bad but it’s not a sketch that I thought “wow this is a good sketch”. I did laugh at the response to, “any last words?” when Kate McKinnon says, “uh, Kangaroo, I guess”. I hope my last words come even close to being that eloquent.
fun. was not all that great. They did “Some Nights” first and it was rough. I really do not understand the use of auto-tune when you are capable of singing on your own, quite well even. Luckily they redeemed themselves a bit with “Carry On” but I’m sure there were quite a few people that had wished they’d busted out their big summer hit “We Are Young”.
Weekend Update was fantastic. No two ways about, just spot on from beginning to end. While Cecily Strong was good as the returning “girl you wish you hadn’t started a conversation with at a party”, Aidy Bryant was stellar as the social media expert. The timing between she and Seth Myers was perfect. I think my next tattoo is totally going to be “The Internet is REAL!”
As usual, it got weird after Weekend Update. The Zord/ram’s horn/crystal sketch was so bizarre. When Louis C.K. was on Jimmy Fallon this last week, he mentioned that there was a sketch that was so bad that he begged the writers to keep it in the show. I can only guess that it was this one. Seriously, the entire time I was watching with a look on my face that resembled the one my dog gets when I fake throw the tennis ball and he can’t find it in the yard. Best part of the sketch was Bobby Moynihan in hooves. Another “WTF” moment but one that was at least amusing.
“Hotel 55” was the bright spot in the “after Weekend Update” lineup. It was a simple premise, but one that relied heavily on timing between C.K. and Bobby Moynihan and they did a good job with it. They kept the audience’s interest because the “charges” listed weren’t at all what you’d think. Unless you are a person that often removes stuffed bobcats from hotel rooms, then you might have been expecting that one.
The last sketch? Both bad and good. It was well acted and I suppose well written but because of those two reasons, it was equally as creepy. I’ve been one of the last people in a bar as it closed a few times in my life so I’ve seen that exact situation go down. Thankfully it didn’t involve as much tongue in real life. Otherwise my reaction would have been very close to Keenan Thompson’s.
Overall? A very good episode. It does make me wonder if they had the chance to have everyone on deck and not dealing with natural disasters, how much better this show might have been. The first part of the show was so strong that I can only imagine what a little extra time, or at least a normal schedule, would have benefited the second half.
In the end though, they pulled off a great show despite the situation. Louis C.K. sent out an email to fans before the show in which he talked about doing a show like this in the midst of destruction and heartache. It really does put things in perspective and at the same time shows how true the old adage “laughter is the best medicine” really is.
Hopefully things will be better by next week when the show is hosted by Anne Hathaway with musical guest Rihanna!
Until next time!