After delivering a controversial opening set in 2015, the comedian returned with some of his finest jokes, as SNL also spoofed Pepsis tone-deaf protest commercial

Louis CKs latest special, 2017, dropped on Netflix this week. It showcased some of his brilliance, but it didnt quite live up to his finest work.

In his monologue for this weeks episode of Saturday Night Live, he resurrected a string of jokes that he didnt include on this latest hour and probably should have.

Heres a joke, he began, unsubtly, launching into a wandering, hit-and-miss bit about a racist chicken crossing the road. He then went into a strangely long bit about animals that seemed, for a moment, like a deliberately PG-rated set in response to his controversial SNL monologue back in 2015.

It wasnt to be: the chunk ended with CK saying he wanted to get a goat so I can have a trash can I can make love to. Then things really kicked in, with a well-developed series of motel and hotel jokes.

Comedians talking about travelling is a well-worn trope, but this material is CK at his finest clever, self-aware, counterintuitive but instantly relatable. Who else could complain about customer service with a line about institutional racism?

Its wrong that white people get better treatment. Its wrong. But as long as they do, whats going on in this hotel?

Louis CKs SNL monologue.

The other must-see of the night was a pitch-perfect parody of the now-infamous Pepsi commercial, imagining the clueless white guy who created the ad as he realizes why it is not a good idea, one piece at at time. Clever, simple and effective, this pre-tape took full advantage of both SNLs timeliness and its network budget, able to realistically recreate an expensive commercial set on a moments notice.

Other notable sketches included:

  • The cold open, which featured Alec Baldwins Donald Trump meeting a group of supporters in Kentucky, who continued to support him despite his life-ruining policies. It had a few good lines In Trumps America, men work in two places: coal mines and Goldman Sachs but overall, it was like a somewhat unsophisticated take on current affairs.
  • The first sketch after the monologue saw CK donning the most incredible fake eyelashes while prosecuting a murder case. His lashes charmed everyone in the court, and it ended with a fantastic payoff. It might be the dumbest sketch since David Pumpkins, and it was almost as well done.
  • Bobby Moynihan played a clown arriving for a birthday party, only to discover that CK is a lone 53-year-old whos hired him for his own enjoyment. Its awkward and Louie-esque, featuring some sharp lines Theres no protocol for whatever this is and a supremely dark ending.
  • The final sketch, in which CK and Kate McKinnon played actors at New Yorks Tenement Museum pretending to be racist Polish immigrants in the early 20th century. The sketch itself wasnt quite sure what it was saying, but watching CK slowly realize that he has no business doing an accent was well worth it.

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