Comedian Louis C.K. just hosted his fourth Saturday Night Live. The comedian provided his usual blend of boundary-pushing jokes in the opening monologue, many designed to tweak politically-correct viewers' perceptions, but this show doesn't ride on the guest host's shoulders.
While the show's return from hiatus had some seriously awkward moments, political content, and misfires, a few sketches and digital shorts were close to SNL at its take-no-prisoners best—though we think they were maybe a little rough on Kendall Jenner. In a pretty funny take on the creation of the supermodel's controversial Pepsi spot, Beck Bennett played the commercial's clueless writer-director, realizing too late that the ad won't work, and Cecily Strong was a pretty dead-on Kendall, telling sister Khloe, "I know, it's so cute, right?"
Louis C.K.'s middle-aged dad vibe was put to very funny and creepy use in two sketches. In "Soda Shop" he was a friendly neighborhood soda fountain owner whose unsettling attraction to a local high school girl was played for some surprising laughs. While SNL has its own version of playing things safe sometimes, this wasn't one of those moments.
In "Birthday Clown" C.K. was again the creep-in-residence but in a very different way—he was a 50-something who decided to rent a kid's party clown's services for his own sad, beer-drinking distraction. Sometimes when Saturday Night Live gets weird it seems to try too hard. This digital short, however, landed squarely in that zone where bizarre and funny meet.
By far the sharpest satire of this episode came in the digital short, "Thank You, Scott." It was a reggae infused pop anthem focused on Louis C.K.'s "Scott," who stood in for every lazy internet user posting constantly about their social justice interests but doing nothing else.
The next SNL will be a landmark episode, the first to ever broadcast live across all U.S. time zones—previously the Mountain and Pacific broadcasts aired on tape. Former cast member Jimmy Fallon will host.