Louis C.K.’s second stint as host of Saturday Night Live was, in many ways, like his first. It yielded the same sort of absurdist and sometimes awkward sketches, ones that begin with oddball circumstances but then progress three steps further into the surreal: occupants of a doctor’s office succumb to strange self-diagnoses, an offbeat couple discuss pajamas and holes and pronounce the world “pineapple” weirdly, and C.K. gets serenaded with “Mr. Big Stuff” by an impromptu stoop quartet. That being said, two segments rose above the rest.
One was Black Jeopardy, a throwback to the classic Celebrity Jeopardy skits of the Will Ferrell era. C.K. plays a bumbling BYU professor of African-American studies caught off-guard by Kenan Thompson’s “Alex Treblack”:
The other highlight was C.K.’s opening monologue. Though it played with familiar themes—men vs. women, God, teenage entitlement—C.K.’s stand-up never quite reached the territory of shtick, and was a masterful display of everyman delivery and the persona that has become his trademark: the balding, divorced, good-intentioned but fatalistic father subject to all the minute and daily humiliations of modern times. That persona will return for good come May 5, when the comedian’s FX sitcom, Louie, will be premiering its fourth season.
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