Cold Opening – Summertime
- Always good to see Kate’s Hillary Clinton back, and her writing in this season & the next is much better than most of the political material that will be thrown at Kate halfway through her tenure.
- Good laughs from the various ways Kate’s Hillary is desperately trying to relate to normal, beach-goers, and more importantly her potential voters.
- A fun walk-on from Darrell’s Bill Clinton.
- I’m loving how most of the cast is used here, and particularly the energetic group LFNY to start our final episode of the season.
- Ah, I know I’m going to absolutely love this.
- Already we’re getting laughs from Louis’ response to a female cast member’s “Love you Louis!” And Louis’ “Hi!” Still cracks me up each time.
- I LOVE Louis starting with saying that he’s not racist, and then saying HOWEVER, his delivery of that last word is such classic Louis C.K. it’s so perfect to me.
- I’m getting so many laughs from Louis’ examples of mild racism, and his trademark, straightlaced delivery of them makes them even somehow funnier than they already are. Especially his bit about the doctor and a black guy wearing hooded sweatshirt.
- A great analogy from Louis about his two daughters, by bringing up the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and America as the one witnessing the conflict.
- Oh, here comes the infamous child molester bit, which is the reason why this monologue is so famous.
- A huge, cheap laugh from Louis’ admission that the child molester didn’t like him, and I love his delivery of “He didn’t like me and I felt a little bad.”
- My goodness at how risky this material is, but Louis is pulling it off flawlessly, especially his bit about how child molestation must be really good… from the molester’s point of view to risk so much in doing. A priceless, hilarious conclusion to an incredibly risky bit.
- An overall fantastic stand-up monologue as one would expect from Louis, and he has always been my personal favorite stand-up comedian of all-time, so I wasn’t that surprised that I loved this so much.
The Shoemaker and the Elves
- OH NO. The debut of a sketch that I always despised with the intensity of a thousand suns.
- Right from the beginning, this sketch is absolutely insufferable, with the concept of masochistic elves, is SNL freaking kidding me with putting this on air?! And as our lead-off sketch of the season to boot?!
- Vanessa & Kenan are particularly unwatchable to me in this sketch, which is a thing I never say about both performers.
- I’m not caring for ANY of the kinky acts by Vanessa & Kenan here, not only they are unfunny & desperate, but it shows to me the many things that I despise about Anderlette as writers. Also, it’s giving me a sneak peak to the MANY sketches that will be focusing more and more on humor I can’t stand in seasons 43 & particularly 44.
- Terrible ending. And IIRC, the two other installments are somehow even worse than this one. Oof.
- A very memorable & popular sketch from this season.
- Big guilty laughs from Louis imitating the way Leslie speaks.
- (*sigh*) In true green, unrehearsed Leslie Jones fashion, she DROPS CHARACTER and tells Louis in front of the audience “I’m sorry, go ahead”, after making a dumb “oops” gesture when she’s supposed to be RUDE! (*sigh*) I won’t let her unprofessionalism hurt my enjoyment of this sketch that I always loved.
- Big laugh from Louis outburst towards Leslie, and it’s so funny how the audience is getting on Louis’ side and applauding him after the outburst.
- I Love Louis’ finger snap after saying “Well, okay then”. He is killing me here.
- I LOVE that Louis kept talking this way for a FULL YEAR. A priceless development of this already-hilarious concept.
- A great ending with Louis dropping his act & Leslie’s outburst towards. A good use of Leslie’s energetic presence.
The Woodworkers Association of America
- A big laugh from the very random twist to this commercial.
- I love the dramatic close-up of Louis at the end of this commercial, and his serious look is the icing on the cake.
Musical Performance – “Bitch Better Have My Money”
- Jesse Nathan: Interesting staging to this performance, with Rihanna singing the song inside of a (fake) car.
- Weak chorus.
- Who’s the girl with her mouth taped?
- I get the feeling that these verses are a bit repetitive, and I can never distinguish them and the chorus.
- Cool seeing stagehands on the stage.
- Didn’t care for Rihanna’s vocal delivery of “wasted”.
- On a similar note to what I said about the verses being repetitive, I feel as though Rihanna gave up on the lyrics during the second verse, and just repeated the same lines from the last one.
- Neat dancing from Rihanna and co.
- Why isn’t Rihanna doing the chorus live?
- Cool guitar near the end.
- Overall, despite the cool presentation, I did not care for that song.
Rating: **½ (the latter for the presentation)
- Our final Weekend Update of the season.
- A hilarious old-school credits about ISIS, and I love how sharply-pointed these jabs are against Bush and Cheney.
- IIRC, this ends up being Taran Killam’s final Update commentary, as he makes ZERO appearances behind the desk in his final year which I recall being an absolute shocker when season 41 aired due to how frequently he appeared, and the iconic, tenure-defining character that he developed behind the desk.
- Some pretty good laughs from Taran’s Brady various ways in dodging blame for Deflategate, Taran’s performing this well, and is a part that he could play to perfection pretty much in his sleep.
- A good callback to the Hamburgler commentary from Colin.
- Yet another Pete Davidson commentary, which is fitting for a season finale.
- Some ok laughs from Pete’s admission of his own lack of range as a cast member, which you should all wait till I reach the seasons were I can’t STAND him for me to point them out.
- Like some of his previous commentaries, Pete is coming off likable and down-to-earth here, which is much more than I could say of how he comes off in more recent years.
- RIBLET!!! I love the way he appeared this time.
- A surprisingly solid professional delivery from Bobby here, it makes me wonder how he would’ve fared as an Update anchor.
- While this commentary is very similar to Riblet’s previous & upcoming commentaries, I’m still getting my usual laughs, and Michael’s interactions with Bobby’s Riblet are still fun to watch.
- An overall great final Update for this season, and it shows to us all the rapid growth that the Che/Jost era of Update experienced in a span of their debut season.
- Gemma officially becomes recurring.
- I do love Louis on SNL, but man, he’s not convincing AT ALL as Gemma’s bro-y boyfriend. A role that Dwayne Johnson played to perfection last time.
- (*yawn*) This is going the EXACT SAME direction as the first one, and unfortunately even Louis with his sketch-saving abilities cannot do anything to elevate the material.
- At least this wasn’t as bad as I feared, unlike some future installments.
- An excellent sketch concept, which isn’t much of a surprise with this season’s new, creative, and conceptual writing style.
- I’m loving the idea of an actors line-up with each of them treating their line-ups as an audition. This sketch has an old-school, classic sketch comedy feel to it which makes me immediately on-board.
- Such spot-on impressions of the typical characterizations from trained actors, Taran, in particular is very funny here.
- I’m enjoying the interactions between the different actors here, not only funny, but it brings a sense of heart to this strong sketch.
- A great ending to such a great sketch, a favorite of mine.
The Woodworkers Association of America
- An excellent twist to this short with it turning to be a continuation of our runner. The visual of the tear on Louis’ cheek slayed me, and a part that always stuck with me in the past.
Musical Performance – “American Oxygen”
- Jesse Nathan: Cool staging at the start.
- I like the use of footage behind Rihanna, though I highly doubt this’ll get across the message Rihanna’s trying to convey, if she is attempting.
- I never got what exactly this song is about. What does she mean by “American oxygen”?
- I feel like Rihanna keeps repeating the America-centric lyrics to cover up the fact that there isn’t really anything else to this song.
- Yeah, the more this goes on, the more I’m sensing a slightly failed attempt at being deep and profound.
- “This is the new America.” But how is this the new America? For God’s sake, be more specific.
- I’m getting a very strong sense that this song would make a lot more sense if I had the visuals, but when I’m listening to it with no video whatsoever, I fail to understand the song’s meaning.
Rating: *** (mostly for the presentation)
Forgotten TV Gems
- Didn’t we get a Reese D’What sketch few episodes ago? Well, I cannot complain as I’ve always loved this character & Kenan’s fun characterization.
- A pretty questionable sketch for our 10-to-1 of the season.
- Bobby is perfect for these classic black-and-white TV shows.
- I’m not caring that much for this sketch so far, at least the fun performances are elevating the material for me.
- Funny reaction from Bobby after Aidy & Kate’s kiss.
- Good ending.
- An overall average sketch, while certainly not bad, it wasn’t the best way to end a strong, milestone season.
Cut For Time: Rooftop Party
- I’m really enjoying the realistic, slice-of-life feel at the beginning of this short, some really good acting from Kenan & Leslie especially.
- Interesting that this short is starting to focus more on Jay, when I thought that Louis would be its main focus.
- Jay’s performing this well, which is a damn shame that we barely saw him outside of impression roles throughout his tenure.
- I love the ending especially with Jay’s “Let me get them civil right out of you” such a hilariously absurd line.
- A solid short overall, and with a rare character showcase from Jay. A shame that this was cut for time, I would’ve replaced that kinky elves tripe with this. It would’ve made this great episode even better.
Segments Ranked From Best to Worst
The Woodworkers Association of America 1-2 (tie)
CFT: Rooftop Party
Forgotten TV Gems
The Shoemaker and the Elves
- A great season finale, aside from two flops which is fitting for this season, as this was a great season despite being rough around the edges due to experimentation and trying to establish a new era. Aside from three segments, the last of which wasn’t that bad, the rest of the episode was excellent and received ratings between 4-5 stars. Very, very impressive and that more than makes up for the weaker segments.
- Louis C.K. is now 3-for-3 when it comes to strong, creative, and era-definitive episodes. I look forward to his fourth & most likely final hosting stint, as I also recall that one being filled with strong material and being wall-to-wall solid. And as with the last two times, he was an excellent host, came off hilarious, and stole sketches and brought the best material from the writers room into the episode.
- The wrap-up post with full data, overall thoughts, and hot takes coming up soon. So, stay tuned!
3 Replies to “May 16, 2015 – Louis C.K. / Rihanna (S40 E21) ”
Here we go
Cold Open ***½
The Shoemaker and the Elves *½
Sprint Store ***
Actor Line-Up ****
Forgotten TV Gems **
CFT: Rooftop Party ***½
Glad to see you loved the monologue, as I do too, and I feel that Louis C.K. has had a great track record with his stand-up monologues, along with John Mulaney and Zach Galifianakis, though my personal favorite monologue of his will always be his Season 39 monologue, in which he questions the existence of God and Heaven.
“this ends up being Taran Killam’s final Update commentary, as he makes ZERO appearances behind the desk in his final year” Yeah, that season in general was pretty bad for him, not just in terms of airtime, but also in general performances, but I’ll get more into that when you start your coverage of that season.
I’m a bit sad to see that your coverage of this season is over, as it’s been very fun to read you go through the season’s highs and lows. At the same time, though, I’m really looking to Season 41, as that season is a million times better and holds a bit more fondness for me.
And now, the final calculation of the averages:
Pratt – 5.3
Silverman – 6.2
Hader – 6.4
Carrey – 7.2
Rock – 5.3
Harrelson – 8.4
Diaz – 6.0
Franco – 4.8
Freeman – 8.0
Adams – 6.0
Hart – 5.9
Shelton – 6.8
Simmons – 7.9
Johnson – 4.8
Hemsworth – 6.7
Johnson – 8.0
Keaton – 8.2
Henson – 6.2
Johansson – 5.6
Witherspoon – 5.8
C.K. – 7.3
Best Episode: Woody Harrelson – 8.4 (Runner-up: Michael Keaton – 8.2)
Worst Episode: James Franco / Dakota Johnson – 4.8 (tie) (Runner-ups: Chris Pratt and Chris Rock – 5.3)
Overall Average: 6.5
Hey, let’s have some fun. Here are my averages for the musical performances:
Ariana Grande – 6.5
Maroon 5 – 5.5
Hozier – 7.5
Iggy Azalea – 2.0
Prince – 10.0
Kendrick Lamar – 8.5
Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars – 7.0
Nicki Minaj – 5.0
Charli XCX – 6.0
One Direction – 6.0
Sia – 6.0
Blake Shelton – 4.0
D’Angelo – 8.0
Alabama Shakes – 8.0
Zac Brown Band – 6.0
George Ezra – 6.0
Carly Rae Jepsen – 6.5
Mumford & Sons – 7.5
Wiz Khalifa – 5.0
Florence + The Machine – 7.0
Rihanna – 5.5
Best Performance: Prince – 10.0 (Runner-up: Kendrick Lamar – 8.5)
Worst Performance: Iggy Azalea – 2.0 (Runner-up: Blake Shelton – 4.0)
Overall Average: 6.4