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‘Saturday Night Live’: Good for Louis C.K., bad for Jos. A. Bank
No matter how badly your weekend is going, at least you don’t do have to do P.R. for Jos. A. Bank.
There will be no good way to spin the drubbing the menswear chain took on a particularly pointed and savage commercial parody on “Saturday Night Live.” Jumping off Bank’s buy-1-get-3-free sales, “SNL” presented the suits as so cheap, they’re good for wiping up spills, mopping off bacon grease and diapering the baby. And as kindling — because they’re so flammable.
By the time a squirt gun made a suit disintegrate off Taran Killam’s shoulders, the Bank team must have been frantically IM’ing and canceling plans to sleep.
It was one of many highlights in a pretty solid episode, hosted by Louis C.K. in his second turn at Studio 8H. Louis seems to be in synch with the “SNL” squad, reveling in the chance to exercise both his silly and his edgy sides.
The latter seemed the point of “Black Jeopardy!,” a new spoof of the game show with no sign of a foul-mouthed Sean Connery. Louis’ African-American studies prof (from Brigham Young University) finds his expertise useless when the answers are insular facts he could never guess. But they’re no problem for the black host (Kenan Thompson) and contestants (Jay Pharaoh and Sasheer Zamata), who naturally know the right response to “She do hair” is “Alizay.” I laughed, and some people got offended, and perhaps rightly so.
Odder bits for the host came deeper in the show. He was a bewildered passerby pelted with a caustic rendition of “Mr. Big Stuff” by four well-choreographed women, and he was the patient hoping his doctor (Michael O’Brien) would look to see if a Darth Vader action figure was lodged in a delicate place.
And then came the real headscratcher: a scene of the drawing-room variety, with Louis and Vanessa Bayer as police partners who have met up in their nightwear for an assignation. Their arch and actorly speech helped sell weird dialogue about the proper number of holes to cut in their pajamas.
Louis also briefly went Chicagoan, drawing out those vowels as the sergeant on a cop show set in our city, “Dyke & Fats.” That bit was mostly intro, setting up the premise that the partners lived up to the offensive nicknames they gave themselves: one (Kate McKinnon) had a wallet full of bulldog photos, while the other’s (Aidy Bryant) was full of sausages.
Other moments worth noting:
- In the opening, a social media expert (Noel Wells) helped Barack Obama (Pharaoh) follow up his much-viewed health-care plug with Zach Galifianakis. The clickbait concepts involved Pharrell’s hat, Pope Francis (Kyle Mooney) dancing the nene and a would-be viral selfie that NBC actually posted, begging for retweets.
- A goofy character created by Wilmette’s Beck Bennett made a welcome return: the straight-shooting CEO with the body of a baby. As his foil, a VP tendering his resignation, father-of-two Louis seemed to relish playing off Bennett’s lurching man-child, gifting him with a box to wave around and mesmerizing him with the sight of paper being torn.
- Such a quandary if you’re an “SNL” fan in the market for a car. Should you buy the Ford F-150 at the center of a product-placement campaign next week on Jimmy Fallon’s “Tonight Show,” or the Jeep Cherokee that won over Cecily Strong on Saturday’s commercial?
- Next week’s host: Anna Kendrick from “Pitch Perfect,” who has never hosted before but did star in “Drinking Buddies” with Jason Sudeikis, and that’s a start, right?