Eighteen months (and two days) ago, FX aired the final episode of Louie‘s third season. In the long, long period since that day, comedy auteur Louis C.K. has kept himself fairly busy, what with all the touring and stand-up specials and late-night guest appearances and roles in critically acclaimed movies like Blue Jasmine and American Hustle — and, of course, filming/writing/directing/key gripping the fourth season of Louie, which will finally premiere on FX May 5. (And what a return it’ll be: FX will air two episodes weekly for seven weeks, meaning the majority of the season will have aired before the eligibility deadline for the 2014 Emmys.)
That said, it’s been a while since Louis has had a sustained comedy showcase on TV in general, much less a major network; his last turn as Saturday Night Live host came back in 2012 (and was nearly derailed by Hurricane Sandy). What can we expect from his glorious return this weekend?
If last time is any indication, I’d assume a few things: A monologue that’s pure stand-up, at least one unusually cerebral pretaped sketch — maybe penned by special guest writer Seth Meyers? — at least one high-concept dud, and, if we’re lucky, another bit that showcases the comedian’s weird and wonderful chemistry with Kate McKinnon.
We’ll also get the soulful stylings of musical guest Sam Smith, a relative newcomer to the stateside scene. Don’t know the first thing about him? Don’t worry — EW music critic Nick Catucci has you covered.
Elsewhere in SNL-ville, we can perhaps look forward to another appearance from Bobby Moynihan’s Chris Christie — Bridgegate is the gift that keeps on giving! — a sketch skewering Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin’s “conscious uncoupling,” and another in which the cast gets together and plots the murder of Punxsutawney Phil, who has plagued the East Coast with a merciless perpetual winter. (Fine, I might be projecting a little on that last one.)
What are you hoping to see from Louis C.K. on SNL tonight? Discuss below, and check back in the morning for my full recap.