“Saturday Night Live” is a comedy show with a past of fluctuating quality. There have been many mediocre sketches, outright bad sketches, and there are a handful of sketches that are remembered long past their air date.
Louis C.K., a comedian known for creating critical darling shows like “Lucky Louie,” “Louie” and “Horace and Pete,” as well as the film “Pootie Tang,” has comedic chops that show through when given the medium.
“Lincoln” is Louis C.K. taking an odd premise to its extreme and having it work. “Louie,” C.K.’s show chronicling his life through a lens that paints the world as an odd and dark place and derives humor from C.K.’s wide-eyed and cynical position as a witness to the absurdity of the world around him.
“Lincoln” begins with C.K. as Abraham Lincoln recreating the opening to “Louie” with him in an Abraham Lincoln costume. He then, in character as Lincoln, delivers classic Louis C.K. humor, riffing on having to assuage slave owners, his “historically” crazy wife, and how he’s sure he’s going to get murdered, and the suspects are limited to half a country.
“I feel bad for the detective that has to solve my murder,” says Louie as Lincoln. “Who Might’ve done it? I dunno, everybody from the middle of the country, down.”
This stand-up is then interrupted by moments out of the Louie/Lincoln’s life where he awkwardly tries to use his liberation of black slaves as a gambit to try and make black friends and argues with his wife about the benefits of being the president.
Like the similar “Bern Your Enthusiasm”, where Larry David recreated the premise of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” while acting as Bernie Sanders, this takes “Louie” and recreates it, beat for beat.