SNL Recap: March 29, 2014 – Louis C.K. & Sam Smith

Recap, Review and skit ratings for the Saturday Night Live (SNL) episode on March 29, 2014 featuring host Louis C.K. and musical guest Sam Smith.

HealthCare.Gov Meeting
The joke here seemed to be that the president was reluctant to participate in social media campaigns, which is a huge misread on reality, because Obama obviously loved doing Between Two Ferns and revealing his March Madness bracket. Kyle as the Pope was interesting, though, despite sounding more Italian than Argentinian. C+

Louis C.K.’s Monologue
This is one of the best monologues of the season basically by virtue of being the only stand-up comedy monologue thus far. Now, Louie is obviously a living legend, but if there is going to be a stand-up monologue, I would prefer if it had a sort of event feel to it, as in Zach Galifianakis’ appearances. But that’s enough complaining, because this was great material that was tightly put together. “I don’t know when God started” and “Maybe your life is your weekend with Dad” were the top lines, and how have I not heard words of wisdom like this on the wifebeater until now? A-

Black Jeopardy!

I am always wary of race humor that makes no effort to be nuanced, or really, anything that tries to be about everything “black.” But it can work! When the first clues were about random, unknown people, I was concerned that the whole sketch was going to drone on like that. Luckily, they mixed it up, and thankfully, Louie as Mark wasn’t completely put-upon and was actually willing and able to play along. B+

Baby Boss
This worked for me more than last time, either because I was able to accept the lack of a narrative, or because there was more of one than there was the first time. B

Joseph A. Bank
Are Joseph A. Bank suits really that awful? If they are, I wasn’t aware of that reputation, but this concept still provided some fun sight gags. B

Sam Smith performs “Stay With Me”
Sam could obviously do so many more vocal acrobatics with that falsetto, but he did just as many as he needed to. A-

Weekend Update
-The Jokes: Bizarrely enough, I think Cecily is at her best when rushing through her punchlines. I still don’t know what to say what Colin should do. C
-The Segment: -Stephen A. Smith: When Jay debuted his Stephen A., it connected because most people know who LeBron is. Here, he was on shakier ground, because most non-college basketball fans don’t know who Tom Izzo is. As a college basketball fan, I can report that it didn’t really matter, because he didn’t make any references specific to Izzo or Coach K. This was just the same absurd friendship claims and descriptions that are simply nowhere near as fresh as they were the first time. C

Mr. Big Stuff
This would have been what the scene with the Sirens would have been like if The Odyssey featured Louis C.K. as the protagonist instead of Odysseus. B

Doctor’s Office
Butt stuff can be a tricky deal if you don’t want it to be too immature, but this sketch pulled it off, by buttering us up into really having no doubt that this was about people who are into sticking action figures in their own butts, but then revealing that it was actually about people who get off on their doctor checking out their butts. B+

Private Eyes
So sexy, I CAN’T take it anymore. B+

Dyke & Fats
Louie being so goofily frazzled over not being able to call Dyke & Fats “Dyke & Fats” despite those nicknames being a parts of their names (and not just referencing that they were also a lesbian and overweight, respectively) was the cherry on top of this sundae. B+

Sam Smith performs “Lay Me Down”
A little too stripped down. Sam’s voice was still great, but this performance wasn’t quite “there” enough to give me chills the way “Stay With Me” did. B

Chris Fitzpatrick for Kentwood High School ASB President (BEST SKETCH OF THE NIGHT)
The Getty Images watermark on the traffic footage absolutely slayed me. Well, everything in this sketch slayed me, but that one snuck up on me. A-

Romantic Speech
This was a sort of “shaggy dog” sketch that just threw a bunch of random nonsense against the wall, and amazingly, most of it stuck. What can I tell you, Louis C.K. and Aidy Bryant are a great romantic pairing. B

Initially, my take on this SNL episode was that it was decent, but not that great, as it lacked a truly memorable sketch (save for our weekly Good Neighbor short). But considering that I gave almost nothing less than a B review, this had to have been a more than decent episode. And indeed it was. It took some risks with some strange or mildly off-putting ideas, and those risks paid off. During his first hosting stint, I wondered if Louie could really fit into the grind of sketch comedy, but he is eclectic. He is up for anything, and with one appearance already under his belt going into this show, he is comfortable enough to pull off just about anything.

Jeff Malone is a voracious entertainment consumer and entertainment creator. He currently resides in New York City, where he is working on a Master’s in Media Studies at The New School. In addition to his pieces on, you can check out his blog (, where he provides regular coverage of Community and Saturday Night Live, as well as other television, film, music, and the rest of pop culture.