It’s always satisfying when SNL goes pretty dark with their sketches. It could be something silly like Julia Child slicing her hand and soaking the entire set in blood or it could be a lonely creep ordering a birthday clown for a slow dance with death, all of it is usually pretty funny. Here Louis C.K. plays a man who just wants to celebrate his birthday in a fancy way, much like any red-blooded American. So to make it extra special, he orders a birthday clown. He’s also got to take his mind off some stuff.
It kinda reminds me of that controversial Pictionary sketch from a few seasons back — controversial because it was possibly copied from a Canadian show — mostly because of Bobby Moynihan’s reactions to C.K.’s Ernest Sullivan. He handles that guy in peril pretty way, moving between the silly clown shtick and the guy who is coming to terms that he’s walked into a bad situation. When he doesn’t just run away when the other costumed characters show up, you know he kinda knows where things are heading and he doesn’t care.
Is it a comment about the state of professional clowns across the country? Is it a warning against strange lonely men of a certain age? Maybe it’s just a tale about two guys who are cut from the same cloth and realize they need each other for one reason or another.
No matter, the way he just gives up and accepts being chopped into little pieces is fantastic.