'SNL' Recap: Louis C.K. And Fun.

Mere hours before making his on-screen SNL debut, Louis C.K. sent out the following email:

In about 5 hours we’ll be going on the air. I’ll do a monologue. And we’ll show you some sketches that we wrote and try to make you laugh. I’m gonna look really dumb in some of this stuff. But I don’t care. Its awfully worth it. And I’m really excited. Anyway. I just wanted to let you know. If you watch the show tonight, when Don Pardo says my name and you see me walking out, all the shit in this email is what ill be thinking. I’m a pretty lucky guy. I hope you enjoy the show.

He was just as impassioned as we were because, honestly, last night felt important. It was, arguably, America’s greatest comedian at the peak of his powers, hosting one of the longest-running, most well-respected comedy institutions around. HISTORY. But was it good?

Yes and no, though the “no” wasn’t his fault. Last night’s episode was one of extreme highs and lows — some sketches, like “Lincoln” and “Last Call,” were weird and brilliant and what we think SNL should be. Other sketches, like “Mountain Pass,” were dumb and a waste of precious talent and what SNL often is.

Overall, it was a success, and C.K. was fantastic throughout (especially in sketches where he could bounce off of only one person), but it still felt like it could have been better. Then again, people have been saying that since George Carlin hosted the first episode, so maybe it was just an homage?

Either way, white people do LOVE Homeland.

Bobby Moynihan brought out his Governor Chris Christie impression for the first time (I think?), and like Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin, it’s not so much a spoof as a direct imitation. It’s impossible to mock the man who already IS Jersey, in all its obnoxious, overweight, OHHHHHH I GOT YOUR GARDEN STATE RIGHT HERE *c*ck thrust* glory. Still, when Sudeikis and therefore Mitt Romney depart at mid-season, I’m totally on-board with more Christie, as long as Nasim Pedrad’s Roxy is around, too.

Also, is it just me, or does anyone else forget Fred Armisen is still on SNL?

When I saw Louis perform in August during a rehearsal gig for his standup tour, he told the same bit he used during his monologue, about “his” airport old lady. It was interesting hearing the evolution of the joke, though; for instance, back then, the part about him wishing he was sexually attracted to old ladies wasn’t part of the routine. The finger-pointing and GYPSY accent were, however, and they’re just as funny now as they were then.

“Fox and Friends” has never done much for me (it feels a little too easy), and this one was no different. The corrections are always amusing enough (“There are many black people, not just one who is a master of disguise” and “There is no celebrity named Rape Romano” were personal favorites), but Sudeikis’s sub-par Donald Trump makes me pine for the days of Darrell Hammond, a sentiment that I’m pretty sure I’m the first to ever utter.

Yup. If “Lincoln” had ended with Kenan’s emancipated slave sarcastically thanking our 16th president at the bar, it would have been good enough — and then the familiar Louie theme began playing, and “Lincoln” became an instant classic. (I wonder if there’s anyone out there who had no idea what was being spoofed?) It’s so pitch perfect, from the font of the credits, to the way it was shot, to Lincoln’s self-effacing jokes. The only thing missing was Louie/Lincoln balancing against the Comedy Cellar brick wall with one hand. According to Late Night writer Mike Shoemaker, via Twitter, “Lincoln” was written by Seth Meyers, so props to you, Mr. Meyers. In honor, I’ll refrain from commenting on your mugging for jokes during “Weekend Update” for one week and one week only.

It was dumb, but eh, I laughed. Australian humor hits the same sweet spot for me as fart and poop jokes. C.K. playing “Australia’s Steve Zahn” is a wonderful throwaway line.

If C.K. hadn’t been the host, the lack of Obama and Romney would have bugged me, considering one of the most divisive elections of, oh, all-time is only a few days away. Instead, Romney didn’t make his first appearance until “Weekend Update,” and he continued to knock it out of the park. It feels like Sudeikis’s only recently gotten a handle on the character — shame that by month’s end, they’ll have to “retire” him. Hopefully.

The second time “The Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation With at a Party” has made an appearance, and — INDEPENDENT THOUGHT ALARM — it was funny again. That’s strong analysis, folks.

During his Late Night with Jimmy Fallon appearance on Thursday, C.K. commented that there was one sketch he was embarrassed to be a part of, but he still wanted to do it; he was dreading it in a good way, I guess, to stretch out his acting and/or masochism skills? I’m going to assume “Mountain Pass” was that sketch. It was so painfully unfunny that I found it hilarious. There was no punchline, the cast had no idea what they were supposed to be doing and gave up 20 seconds in (Kate and Kenan can be seen losing it), the set design was oddly intricate for something so dumb, and C.K. couldn’t synch blowing the horn with the in-studio sound effects. I don’t know what the point of “Mountain Pass” was supposed to be, but hey, at least there wasn’t any yeti rape.

Due to the impressive timing from both C.K. and Bobby Moynihan, “Hotel Fees” was the rare SNL sketch that felt Monty Python-esque. Just replace the dead parrot with a mounted bobcat.

America, meet the new Kristen Wiig: Kate McKinnon. “Last Call” was wonderful. McKinnon more than held her own against C.K., and she not only reminded me of Wiig, but also Will Ferrell, in the way she moved her body and enunciated certain words. (I got a distinct “Bill Brasky” vibe.) She’s the show’s next superstar.

And I’m naming my kid Dan Pants Kurp.

At least they didn’t play “We Are Young”?

This feels an important GIF to have around: