SNL managed to book one of the biggest names in stand up comedy and one of the biggest names in hit crossover indie pop acts. Let’s see if host Louis C.K. and the trying conditions of Hurricane Sandy came together to make…the perfect storm (nailed it).
Cold Open: Cecily Strong’s sign language interpreter character may have added some pizzazz to Fred Armisen’s Mayor Bloomberg, but Bobby Moynihan as Governor Christie and Nasim Pedrad as his Jersey interpreter really made the sketch.
Monologue: Like most standup comedians that host the show, Louis C.K. did the monologue as a standup routine (handheld mic and all), riffing on being trapped at an airport because of Hurricane Sandy. The extended 7-minute monologue was a good start to the show, and certainly a good way for the audience to get to know an otherwise lesser-known host.
Fox & Friends: Let’s be honest, the real reason we love this sketch is to see the corrections at the end, and you can see the full list here. My favorite: Haitian does not mean “half-Asian.”
Lincoln: This pre-taped sketch was a perfect spoof on Louis’s (Emmy winning) show Louie, complete with a frame by frame recreation of the intro. It turns out that Abraham Lincoln’s life through Louis’s eyes is pretty hilarious.
Australian Screen Legends: The sketch itself was on the stranger side, but Kate McKinnon and Bill Hader’s purposely outrageous Australian accents that ruin any classic dramatic film scene make the sketch worth it. Thahnks for the heeds ahp!
fun.: Fun. continued their rise to indie pop royalty with a performance of their newest album’s titular track, “Some Nights.” Its singalong anthemic “ohh” chorus was fun, and the second song’s (“Carry On”) driving melody made for a great inspiring power ballad performance. Nate Ruess’s distinct vocals did not disappoint, but sadly his resemblance to SNL writer John Mulaney was never addressed.
Weekend Update: Yay Cecily! Cecily Strong earned the mark of being the first among the new cast members to get a recurring character with the return of The Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation with at a Party. Aidy Bryant also got a segment, and was great as a social media expert reading inane election-themed social media updates like, “Mutt you a snake freak.” My favorite of Seth Meyers’s headlines was, “New York City officials are saying that the city’s flooded subway system may be running at full capacity sometime next week, which would be amazing, since it never has before.”
Mountain Pass: Louis said on Jimmy Fallon last Thursday that there was one sketch he told the writers to leave in because he hated it…and I’m pretty sure it was this one. The sketch is funny for basically just how ridiculous it is, with a bonus of Louis breaking and Bill and Fred exchanging glances and nearly breaking.
Hotel Fees: This sketch felt like it would neverrrrr enddddd. Zero laughs for me on this one.
Last Call: This sketch went from boring last call banter to the grossest kiss I’ve ever seen, which is really saying something since we’ve all witnessed the Kissing Family sketches. Basically Kenan’s weirded out reaction shot was my own reaction shot while watching this sketch.
Overall: I wasn’t really thrilled with this episode on the whole. It’s possible all the chaos of an impending hurricane brought the writing down a little bit, or maybe this episode they shot for more absurdist comedy that wasn’t my taste. Either way, it definitely wasn’t my favorite.
MVP: Kate McKinnon is steadily declaring herself as a force to be reckoned with. I think we’ve got a new SNL lady star on our hands here.
One to Watch: If you only watch one sketch from this episode, make it Lincoln.
Watch new episodes of Saturday Night Live on Saturdays on NBC at 11:30/10:30c. This week’s episode on Nov. 10 is a new episode with host Anne Hathaway and musical guest Rihanna.
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