You might have expected Louis C.K. to begin this weekend’s Saturday Night Live with commentary on the Trump administration. Instead, he delved into a monologue about a racist chicken, and it was delightful.
“Here’s a joke: Why did the chicken cross the road?” the Louie star asked the audience. “Because there was a black guy walking behind him. He was new to the city, this chicken, and he was like, ‘I feel like he’s following me, but I’m not sure’… So he crossed the road and the black guy went home… and the chicken thought, ‘Oh, I’m such a racist.'”
That, ladies and gentleman, was the perfect start to a near-perfect episode. C.K., in his fourth turn as host, starred in a number of memorable sketches, but perhaps none quite as memorable as Alec Baldwin playing both Bill O’Reilly and Trump in a post-Weekend Update O’Reilly Factor sketch. (Baldwin had already played Trump in the cold open, which you can watch and discuss here.) The evening also featured the inevitable mocking of that ridiculous Pepsi ad fronted by Kendall Jenner.
THE O’REILLY FACTOR
Baldwin’s O’Reilly began the sketch by talking about “a scandal no one thought I’d have the guts to address head-on, about the shocking allegations of gross misconduct and abuse of power that have been leveled against the Obama administration.” After discovering that his investigative reporter no longer worked for Fox News (“Did she get the check?”), O’Reilly turned to another reporter (played by Cecily Strong) who was reporting “via satellite from 500 yards away.” After a word from some less-than-desirable sponsors (including dog cocaine and the movie CHiPs), he finally addressed his own scandal by bringing on the only man who would come to his defense: President Trump.
Because of course the show had to talk about that Pepsi ad, this pre-taped sketch featured Beck Bennett as the man whose “singular vision” was responsible for the controversial commercial. After telling his sister over the phone about the concept of the video, “a homage to the resistance” that is “reminiscent of Black Lives Matter” starring Jenner, he is told that he has made a huge mistake. Unfortunately, it’s wayyyyy too late to make any changes.
THANK YOU, SCOTT
This over-the-top music video cast C.K. as a man who was celebrated not for actually getting off of his couch and attempting to make the world a better place, but for watching the world fall apart on TV and “sharing an article with 84 Facebook friends.” It was perhaps the best political commentary of the night, poking fun at those who want to see change, but never take the initiative.
Bobby Moynihan played a clown under the assumption that he had been hired for a children’s birthday. Instead, he had been hired by 53-year-old Ernie, who was just trying to work through some stuff. A+ cringe comedy here.
What seemed to be an ad for a thriving furniture business turned into the bizarre (and oft-hilarious) tale of a man (C.K.) who “used to have a family,” but instead devoted his life to sectional couches and lost everything.
What were your favorite sketches of the night? And what missed the mark? Grade the episode via our poll, then hit the comments and make your picks.
Launch Gallery: <i>SNL</i>: Season 42 Episodes, Ranked