Cold Opening – Michael Bloomberg Press Conference
The SNL sketch about the response to Frankenstorm Sandy is about … Mayor Bloomberg’s vendetta against sugary sodas and trans fats?  That’s kind of funny, in a bizarre way.  Bobby’s Christie sounded like just a Joisey tough guy, which was disappointing because Christie does have a distinctive voice.  But he did get the attitude right. B-

Louis C.K.’s Monologue
Louie in all black – the classic Louie getup.  As far as I know, Louie is the best stand-up comedian working today, so he could have chosen any bit from his current material to make this monologue work.  I don’t think the old lady at the airport was his best routine, but it did feature some classic moments, particularly Louie’s explanation that he “can’t switch” to not helping the old lady after he has already started helping her and the moment she points at him and declares, “I shall never forget you.” A-

Fox & Friends
The Fox & Friends sketches are really developing into having a solid format that could always head in several potential directions.  And Taran, Vanessa, and Bobby have developed a solid rapport.  When Louie came on as the FEMA representative, it was the classic scene of a bewildered straight man struggling to keep up with pointing out the errors of crazy people.  It was reminiscent of the “Morning Latte” with Jerry Seinfeld. B+

“My wife is crazy” – that is exactly how Louis C.K. would describe Mary Lincoln if he were married to her.  In fact, this entire sketch was exactly how Abraham Lincoln would act if he were Louis C.K.  I particularly enjoyed how the opening credits scene was basically an exact recreation of the Louie opening credits (i.e., it took place in present-day New York instead of the 1860’s).  This steps ahead of the Puppet Class as the leader for sketch of the year. A

Australian Screen Legends
The Australian accents were garishly broad and potentially offensive.  But maybe that was the point?  That wasn’t necessarily a good idea, but Bill and (especially) Louie made it work by downplaying it a bit.  “Welp, she’s a goner” got a laugh out of me. C+

fun. perform “Some Nights”
I hear a lot of people say how they would like SNL to mix up their musical guest introductions, and this introduction didn’t change much, but Louie’s delivery was enough to make it memorable.  Anyway, fun. seemed to be in control of what they were doing. B+

Weekend Update
-The Jokes: Seth actually had several good jokes, but there were also multiple Stories That Were Funnier Than the Punchlines (rats, Bond girl name) and a bunch of jokes that were just not good.  The best part may have been that the bad jokes didn’t linger. B
-The Segments: -Mitt Romney: Two lines from this segment utterly captured Romney: “Nothing I’ve said in the past should be any indication of my positions in the future” and “I very much want this job.” B+
-Kourtney Barnes: This was a political routine worth doing in this day and age.  Unfortunately, it started to become just a list of the same post over and over and didn’t develop into much more than what it was when it began.  But the last joke wrapped it up nicely – when in doubt, Joe Biden. B
-The Girl You Wished You Hadn’t Started a Conversation with at a Party: It was satisfying how well this worked considering a lot of it was just new spins on what Cecily did the first time (“Can I sing a Negro spiritual real quick?’ instead of “Can I say the ‘n’ word real quick?”).  I particularly howled at using “African-American face” to dress up as Malcolm X for Halloween. A-

Mountain Pass
This was fascinatingly bad, seemingly purposefully so.  Or everyone (or at least Louie, anyway) realized how bad it was while performing and acted accordingly.  They seemed to be simultaneously acknowledging and despairing over how hacky and half-baked it all was.  And it worked – in a manner of speaking. B-

Hotel Checkout
Bobby’s character being in a rush provided … SUSPENSE.  And then he missed his flight, and the sketch just ended.  So, this sketch provided a steady stream of laughs, and then we went back to commercials, and I was thinking how cramped SNL is by the obligation to have to cut to commercial.  Here is a sketch that would have benefited from the Monty Python form of just bleeding into the next sketch.  Actually, I was getting a Monty Python vibe from the whole thing: Louie’s character was a John Cleese type – officious despite having to cover rather silly details. B+

fun. perform “Carry On”
Another classic intro from Louie.  I’m not sure what fun. were going for with all that screwing around with the pre-recorded track, but they seemed to be doing something. B

Last Call
Kenan’s character was really unnecessary here.  We didn’t need him as a proxy to realize how ridiculous – but also insightful – Louie and Kate’s characters were being.  Louie’s line of “but she’s a woman and she has breasts and stuff” was a perfect representation of how this sketch was a great deconstruction of the whole last call situation. B+

During the monologue and the Lincoln sketches, Louie was completely in his element, and the show was excellent for it.  The rest of the episode was the moderate Louie-ification of SNL, and it was fascinating and amusing enough, but it wasn’t Louie at his best.  It wasn’t SNL at its best either, for that matter, but that was more due to randomness.

And I leave you with the director’s cut of the best sketch of the season so far: