October 24, 2012

Louis C.K. to Host SNL!

Louis C.K. on Parks & Recreation
At the end of the summer, I put together a list of 10 people I'd like to see host Saturday Night Live for the first time this season.  Guest Blogger Daniel made his own top 10 wishlist for new SNL hosts.  And now, six episodes in, one of these 20 individuals will finally be hosting.  Comedian Louis C.K. (from my list! Point: me) will be hosting the next episode of SNL on November 3.  Before this summer, I primarily knew Louis C.K. as Dave, Leslie Knope's cop boyfriend in a few episodes of Parks & Rec.  But this summer, after hearing a lot of buzz, we finally decided to start watching Louis C.K.'s hit TV series Louie, and we were hooked.  (When I say "start watching", I naturally mean we bought seasons 1 and 2 on DVD and watched them in succession before watching season 3 each week when it aired on TV.  We would never just start watching a show without watching from the beginning.  Obviously.)  I have been wanting to blog about Louie since we started watching it this summer, but I just didn't know what to say about it.  It's the most fascinating and unique show on television. There is literally nothing on TV like it.  It's a comedy, but it's not always funny.  Some episodes contain two short unrelated stories, while other stories take up one, two, or even three episodes.  Sometimes the show features Louis performing standup between each segment, and other episodes feature no standup at all.  The show usually begins with its opening sequence and theme song, but other times it's gone altogether.  The point is that Louie is no ordinary sitcom, just like Louis C.K. is no ordinary sitcom star.  For this reason, despite being a hilarious comedian, he might not make a great SNL host.

Louis C.K. on Louie
The reason that his show is so unique is that it is completely his own.  Louis writes, directs, and usually edits every episode of the show himself, as well as stars as the show's only main character.  He has a special deal with the show's network, FX, which allows him to have complete creative control of the show (no network interference) in exchange for a smaller salary.  Therefore, I'm not sure how Louis will do on SNL, where he'll be forced to work with a bunch of writers pitching him silly sketches to perform in.  Also, despite being nominated for an Emmy for Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, he's really not much of an actor. In all of his roles (Louie, Parks & Rec, Invention of Lying, etc.) he plays the same schlubby, lovable loser character.  Can he really go on SNL and do celebrity impressions and play crazy characters?

Here's a clip from Louie of Louis making fun of the fact that he can't act.  In the episode, Matthew Broderick casts Louis as a cop in a movie that he's directing and starring in, and Louis has trouble acting the part:

Although Louis doesn't have much experience acting in sketches, he was a writer for the sketch comedy series The Dana Carvey Show, where he would occasionally appear in sketches.  He makes a small appearances in this sketch as a movie theater cashier, opposite SNL alum Dana Carvey and a very young Steve Carell.

Similarly, Louis also used to work as a writer for Late Night with Conan O'Brien, where he would often appear on-screen in sketches.  Here's an old bit from 1993 featuring a young Louis C.K. and Robert Smigel as dog experts.  (It's essentially the birth of what would later become Robert Smigel's most popular character - Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.)  Keep your eye out for a very special cameo from a certain SNL alum!

And in addition to that, Louis actually used to do some writing for SNL.  He co-wrote many of the TV Funhouse cartoons, such as this one below (note his name in the end credits):

All in all, not much for a sketch comedy resume, but it's something.  Louis C.K. is an incredibly funny and talented guy, and I really think that despite being known primarily for his stand-up and schlubby on-screen persona, he'll come through next weekend as host of Saturday Night Live.  And even if he's not the best host ever, hopefully he'll be better than this:

Tune in Saturday, November 3rd to see how Louis C.K. does as host of SNL!  It's sure to be one interesting show!

1 comment:

  1. This news definitely made my day. I have seen many of Louis C.K.’s shows, and I know he will do great. I’ll be working late at DISH, so I can’t see the show live on TV. I set up my Hopper to automatically record the show so I can watch it the next morning. It is nice being able to record the whole season on my DVR and still have more than enough room left over. I am also very happy to know that F.U.N. will be the musical guest.