Emmy Episode Analysis: Can four-time writing champ Louis C.K. win Comedy Guest Actor for ‘SNL’ gig?

Louis C.K. reaped his second consecutive Best Comedy Guest Actor nomination for hosting “Saturday Night Live.” Last year, he lost this race to Bob Newhart (“The Big Bang Theory“) and the two are both in the running again this year. While he has four Emmy for writing, he has never won for an appearance in front of the camera. We break down the pros and cons of his episode below.

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SYNOPSIS: C.K.’s episode, which aired on March 29, was the sixteenth of the 39th season of this NBC programming staple.

The musical guest was Sam Smith. Unlike the episode of rival nominee Jimmy Fallon, there are no surprise appearances or special guests to lend a hand. 

While this multi-hyphenate had plenty of opportunities to showcase his different strengths throughout the 90-minute running time. He does not suffer from stretches of being absent from the show; compare that to the episodes hosted by Comedy Guest Actress contenders Tina Fey and Melissa McCarthy, in which they were MIA much of the time. 

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PROS:

Fans of C.K.’s stand-up comedy should get a kick out of his “SNL” monologue, which features controversial digs at third-world hunger, wife beaters, Heaven and stuck-up girls.

C.K. plays front and center in virtually every scene aside from the music performances and Weekend Update, meaning his screen time can’t be beat.

The “Black Jeopardy” sketch, featuring a fish-out-of-water C.K., was a viral hit when it first aired. Positive buzz could definitely help C.K. here, as the Comedy Guest Actor category is known for rewarding whichever performer has the most talked-about role of the year.

CONS:

Nothing from this episode screamed cultural importance like some of the other “SNL” host winners from the past, including Tina Fey‘s impression of VP candidate Sarah Palin (2009), Justin Timberlake‘s song-and-dance variety hours (2009, 2011) or Jimmy Fallon‘s Christmastime “SNL” reunion (2012).

Fallon also contends again this year with a jam-packed episode. 

No matter what sketch he appears in, Louis C.K. seems to be playing Louis C.K. That’s a good thing if he’s trying to create a recognizable brand, but a bad thing if he’s trying to win an Emmy.

According to Gold Derby’s Experts, Editors and Users, C.K. is currently in sixth place to win the category with odds of 50/1. In his impressive career, C.K. already has four Emmy wins from 24 nominations, so betting against him probably isn’t the smartest move, especially when he’s in such popular fare as “SNL.”

Predict Best Comedy Guest Actor below using our easy drag-and-drop menu, then discuss all the episodes in our Emmy forums.

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