Saturday, April 12, 2014

SNL 39.16 Review - Louis CK, Sam Smith

Original Airdate - 3/29/14

One of the highlights of the last season of Saturday Night Live was Louis CK's turn as host amid the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.  He was an obvious choice to bring back as soon as possible.  The decision definitely paid off too.  Having a guy like Louis in the writing room helping develop sketches definitely gives the episode an overall boost.  The show may not have always been funny, but it was definitely interesting from start to finish.  Let's take a look.

Cold Opening

This was one of the weirder cold openings of the year.  For the second straight show, we open with President Obama, this time he is fretting about how many people are signing up for the services.  The solution is to involve the government's new social media expert who wants the president to go viral.  We then see a parade of e-cigarettes, Pharrell's hat, Kim Kardashian, Harry Stiles, the Pope, and Justin Bieber.  This was probably the most questionable sketch of the night, as well as one of the more disappointing cold opens of the year.  It just wasn't that good.


Whatever happened in the cold open was immediately forgotten as soon as Louis CK took the stage for his monologue.  Having a guy like Louis host makes for great monologues because they can simply get up there and give some of their stand-up routine.  This is what Louis did.  It was magical.  Enjoy.

Weekend Update

This was probably the shortest Weekend Update of the season.  Colin Jost is slowly getting more and more comfortable in his new role with the show, and it makes this the type of highlight in the show it should be.  I think with Louis in town they wanted as much sketch time as possible.  The one guest of the show was Stephen A. Smith, who Jay Pharaoh absolutely nails but the bit he does with that character is starting to get a little old.

Best Sketch

It was hard to pick a favorite sketch from this show.  The surprising part is which sketch I picked as my favorite.  This first time the "Office Boss Baby" came around, I hated it.  It was just stupid.  For some reason, everything about the sketch that didn't work the first time around worked this time.  Beck Bennett is a little too good at being a baby, and adding Louis to the sketch can only help.  This went from the worst sketch the first time around to the best in its second installment.

Worst Sketch

For this episode, the worst sketch should really be renamed the weirdest sketch.  Some of them worked great, and some were just weird.  This one was just weird.  Two cops just completed a stressful case and agreed to go on a romantic rendezvous ... in their pajamas.  Then they started talking about cutting holes in them because they didn't want to take them off and ... just watch it.  I can't really explain.

Dark Horse Sketch

Like I said, the beauty of this episode was its quirks.  There were so many laughs packed in so many random places, I could just decide on one dark horse sketch.  They were all kind of dark horse sketches.  The first one features Louis playing himself at the doctor's office getting a check-up.  On his way out the door, he stops to ask one last question that really confuses the doctor.  Apparently, he wasn't the only one with that question as two others (who somehow know each other) ask the doctor to check the same thing ... just in case (as if they wouldn't already know).  I can't give the punchline away.  You just have to watch it.

The second dark horse sketch involves Kyle Mooney's latest installment of "Let's end the show with whatever I feel like doing."  This was one of his funnier pre-recorded shorts as he plays a stoner high school student running for student body president.  This is his campaign video as he makes some pretty random campaign promises as you watch high-speed car accidents.  That's about it.  It's sounds stupid, but all of us knew that kid in high school and can see their face superimposed on Kyle's face during the sketch.  One you do that, it is pure bliss.

This may have only been Louis's second time hosting, but I predict he will be in the 5-Timers Club within the next five years.  Louis is a writer that brings fresh ideas to the sketches, and he is perfect as the straight man to the goofiness that the SNL cast is so good at.  He kicks the show up to a new level of funny.  It's different than when a guy like Justin Timberlake hosts, but he definitely has added his name to the select group of guest hosts that you want to make sure you catch when it's their turn to be on the show.


View the full episode here:

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