SNL Viewers Club: Louis C.K. with Rihanna

Laser Time, SNL Viewers Club, Saturday Night Live, review, episode, season 40, Louis C.K., rihanna

Forty years of Saturday Night Live. Wow. This season wrapped up with the great Louis C.K. at the helm. But how did he do…?

I’m not sure why the ginger funnyman was here, but who cares? Last time he hosted was fantastic, and while this episode felt a bit off at times, it was largely enjoyable. And for the musically inclined, Rihanna ain’t no slouch either.

So let’s break this down. People like numbered scores, so I’ve chosen to rate every sketch at 0, 1/2, or 1 point. A sketch not worth watching at all receives a 0, a sketch that doesn’t stand out but didn’t totally flop gets a 1/2, and a sketch that does its job of entertaining and delivering a few laughs will earn 1 point. A standout sketch that goes above and beyond will receive the normal point plus 1 bonus point. Cool? Cool. Let’s talk about it!

Air Date: 5/16/15

Host: Louis C.K.

Musical Guest: Rihanna

Summertime Cold Open

I guess we’ll be seeing a lot of Darrel Hammond cameos as Hillary Clinton’s election run continues, eh? It’ll still be the best part of these cold opens — we get it, guys, Hillary really wants the job. At least this saved us a musical number further into the show. 1/2 point


As Sarah Silverman and Chris Rock proved earlier this season, you’ve gotta let comedians do their thing when hosting. Louis seemed to be trying out new material, but it was certainly funny. And to those of you complaining about his bit going “too far,” I have one thing to say: have you seen his standup before? Then you can’t complain now. 1 point

The Shoemaker & the Elves

This is a weird sketch to start with — elves with fetishes? It went on far too long and got way off base by the end, but enough lines were funny enough that time wasn’t completely wasted. 1/2 point

This Is How I Talk

Being trapped in a fake voice is a fantastic premise for a sketch. It also went on a bit long, but the payoff was good enough. 1 point

Wood PSAs

This set of sketches felt very much like old school SNL. Maybe not the funniest, but I appreciate how “art there” it was. 1 point

Weekend Update

Colin Jost and Michael Che landed some good jokes for their last Update of the season. On the other hand, Taran Killam’s Tom Brady was nothing special, and Pete Davidson’s bit wasn’t his best work. It was nice to see Riblet again, although three appearances in one season feels like a bit much. A clear 50/50 split for the segment this week. 1/2 point


This was a great sketch when it debuted on The Rock’s episode. It wasn’t very different from before, but the obnoxiousness from Louis and Cecily Strong was quite funny. I still wish this Brit chick’s second appearance would have done more though. 1/2 point

Police Lineup

Another excellent premise. Great meta-performances from the “criminals, and perfect “casting” on the production side of things. 1 point

Forgotten TV Gems: Whoops! I Married a Lesbian

This recurring sketch is still the best thing Keenan Thompson is a part of (“What Up with That?” can die in the harshest fire). The exaggerated old timey shows are always entertaining. 1 point

Total: 7/9 possible points

Is it wrong to be disappointed with this score? It’s decent, but I expect a must-see episode when Louis comes through. Maybe he’ll rock the stage again next season.

Speaking of which, this is the last time you’ll see this column til next fall. So from the bottom of my heart, thanks to those of you who care about one guy’s opinion of a forty year-old show. I’ll still write and edit plenty of stuff on Laser Time of course, but this piece is something special to me. Cheers!

2 thoughts on “SNL Viewers Club: Louis C.K. with Rihanna

  1. God, when moynahan put on the wig it looked like he and aidy bryant could be sisters… I loved the Ooops i married a lesbian sketch though, who would have thought kate mckinnon could play a lesbian! but ya, great keenan character

  2. I only watched the monologue and the ‘This Is How I Talk’ sketch. Made it a minute in to the sketch before I stopped due to the obvious cue card reading. I love Louis CK and that scores seems good. Maybe I’ll give it another shot.

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