This weekend brought Louis C.K. back to Saturday Night Live as host for a fourth time. There hadn’t been a new episode in nearly a month since Scarlett Johansson hit the stage in Studio 8H last month, so the writers and cast were refreshed and ready to go. The wait for a new episode was worth it, because with Louis C.K. on board as host, they delivered a fantastic episode where even the average sketches had more laughs than the usual middling ones and there were only two sketches that didn’t really work.
After the jump, we run through the best and worst sketches from the Louis CK hosted Saturday Night Live.
Birthday Clown – The way Louis C.K. plays this so straight is a huge part of what makes this work so well, but Bobby Moynihan does an amazing job of being on the verge of being scared and just going on with his show in this weird situation. Even though having Ernest turn out to be a weird killer is a solid ending, I was hoping it would go in an even stranger direction eventually. But despite that, the sketch was still the best of the night.
Pepsi Commercial – After all the uproar about this commercial, you knew that SNL was going to have their own take on the situation. Instead of taking the easy way out and making a new commercial in the same vein of the real tone deaf Pepsi ad starring Kendall Jenner, they followed the ad’s writer and director as he slowly realizes just how bad this commercial is going to be just before he shoots it. Finally, the sketch goes out with a bang by taking one final swipe at the clueless Kendall Jenner. Great stuff.
Soda Shop – The constant chipper 1950s tone of voice in this entire sketch makes the inappropriate advances by Louis C.K. and the manipulative, passive aggressive flirting from Cecily Strong is what brings the laughs. Even as Cecily Strong is slowly creeped out in the beginning of the sketch, her face looks uneasy, but her voice still keeps that upbeat attitude. Louis C.K. takes it to another level though when he keeps turning down the advances of Vanessa Bayer in a way that’s mean but sounds kind as ever.
Tenement Museum – With any other host, Tenement Museum may have just been an average sketch. It’s hard to know how funny the final sketch of the night really would have been if it was relying only on the jokes themselves, though the writing here is provocative and hilarious. But what really makes this sketch hilarious in this instance is Louis C.K. completely botching his Polish accent. I do wonder how much he’s intentionally leaning into making the accent bad (especially when he says “my wife” like Borat), but it doesn’t make it any less funny, especially with Kate McKinnon (who rarely breaks) unable to keep her composure. Louis C.K. even mocked himself in the goodbye at the end of the episode by doing the accent again.
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