Sunday, May 17, 2015

Sunday Morning Quarterback – Louis C.K. & Rihanna

I unintentionally spend the afternoon catching up on Louie.  Which is to say that I didn’t binge the current season because he was hosting Saturday Night Live, I was just looking to fill some time. 

Louis C.K. episodes of SNL are always worth watching, if only for the monologue.  Plus Rihanna as the musical guest?  This show has the potential to be a phenomenal finale. 

Our Rating system

Phil Hartman – Comedic gold
Chris Farley – Definitely funny, but kinda messy
Norm MacDonald – Funny, but not for everyone
Kristen Wiig – So-so premise saved by performer.
Tim Meadows – Didn’t hate it, didn’t love it, dripping with adequatulence
Darrell Hammond – Funny, but overstayed it’s welcome
Jim Breuer- Crowd pleaser, but a bit obvious
Robert Downey Jr – Brilliant performer, not a lot to work with
David Spade – Trying too hard
Janeane Garofalo – Weird weird, not weird funny

And introducing our new Host Rating Scale;

Drake – Outstanding
Edward Norton – Impressive
Josh Hutcherson – Fine Enough
Charlize Theron – Essentially an Extra
Seth Rogen – Expectation, Unmet
Jim Parsons - Awful

Hillary Clinton Cold Open – The cold open gets props for incorporating the entire cast into the sketch, but those points are deducted because there are so few jokes and the writing isn’t there.  Yes, McKinnon’s Hillary is full of antic energy and can’t connect with voters, but beyond that it’s not all that funny. 

Rating: Jim Breuer

Monologue – C.K. is fearless.  He’s not fearless enough to address the allegations made against him, but he does makes jokes about racism, the Middle East and child molesters.  I always dig when a comedian hosts because their monologues are generally funny.  C.K.’s is no different.  I applaud him for having the balls for trying (and succeeding) in making the topics funny.

Rating: Norm MacDonald

The Shoemaker & The Elves – A sketch with elves that into sexual kinks?  Sign me up!  Bayer and Thompson’s enthusiastic hinting is great, but C.K.’s monologue about wanting to indulge really puts things over the top.  And the voting via 1-800 number was an excellent capper to the bit. 

Rating: Norm MacDonald

Sprint Store – I truly enjoyed this bit.  Yes, Jones nearly ruined another sketch, but C.K  saved it with his accent.  Normally I find a blaccent offensive (see Timberlake, Tarantino) but C.K.’s was funny.  It wasn’t from trying to be down or mocking, it was a panic move.  And the time jumps were equally dope.  The ending was predictable, but in fairness, at least it had an ending. 

Rating: Kristen Wiig

Buy Wood Products – The jump from declining a toothpick to destroying the livlihood of a lumberjack is huge, which is what made this tickle me so much.  From C.K.’s  clearly fake tear, to his somber visage, everything about this was perfect. 

Rating: Phil Hartman

Rihanna First Performance – Confession time; this is my first time hearing this song.  I’m a huge fan of Rihanna’s “don’t give a f*ck” persona, so this song is right up my alley.  Normally I’d ding for lip-syncing, but it’s completely in line with her established “not giving a f*ck” so I’m ok with it. I also really dug the various moving elements in this performance. 

Weekend Update – Not really much to discuss about Update this week.  Thankfully we don’t have to sit through any more Davidson (or Jones) desk pieces for a few months.  This one was barely humorous.  They tried vailiantly with Killam’s Tom Brady, but the most memorably part was his flub and recovery.  Glad we got one final Katt Williams joke in for the season.  Sad that Riblet didn’t bring up his day job. 

Beach Resort – What an odd sketch to bring back.  It’s odd because the host of the star of the sketch, but the other three are the characters who are coming back.  It doesn’t work as well this time around as it did with The Rock.  Ironically enough C.K. just isn’t douche-y enough. 

Rating: Robert Downey Jr.

Police Lineup – This sketch has such a funny premise and everyone in it brought their A game.  Seeing the various directions C.K., Bennett, Mooney and Killam took with their single line was hilarious.  They each worked various actor stereotypes and hit a home run. 

Rating: Phil Hartman

Buy Wood Products – Yeah, books are also made from wood.  Very happy to see this callback. 

Rating: Phil Hartman

Rihanna Second Performance – I’m not a fan of singing over the backing track.  The stacked vocals were something I didn’t really care for.  Another thing I don’t care for; political Rihanna.  Political Rihanna ranks somewhere between New Vegan Rihanna and Gluten Free Rihanna in terms of how annoying I find her.  I pretty much tuned this song out. 

Whoops I Married A Lesbian – Glad to see Reese De’What hosting another show and that he’s still horrible at guessing.  Loved the cadence of the characters on the show, which really fits the era.  C.K. plays Tom Randolph perfectly.  Loved the relationship between Frank and Madge.  And the hamming up during the kissing scene was so period.  I would totally watch either Forgotten TV Gems or Whoops I Married A Lesbian.  But why was that camera so bumpy in that last shot of Reese. 

Rating: Phil Hartman

Final Thoughts: Glad to see that the writers did indeed reserve the nutty stuff for C.K.’s hosting gig.  It gave the finale some flair and energy, that it might not have had with a more cautious host. 

And C.K. did a find job.  He performed well in the sketches and only had a fews stumbles.  But he gave his all to his characters and really sold the work. 

Host Rating: Drake

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