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Louis C.K.'s Hilarious SNL Slip-Up Was Due To A Simple Cue Card Mistake

There's a certain "Saturday Night Live" sketch featuring Louis C.K. that has become part of the show's lore. In "Private Eyes," which originally aired March 29, 2014, Louis appears at his fellow detective's (Vanessa Bayer) house in pajamas and then engages in a sensual, stilted repartee that parodies will-they-won't-they mystery romance shows like "Remington Steele." There are purposely poor line readings, amusing forced laughs, and the excellent question, "How many holes are you OK with?" Louis' character drinks a lot of pineapple juice and is expecting to have a wild night. At the very end of the sketch, Louis breaks character and leaves viewers wondering what just happened.

When Louis begins to say "I love you" to Vanessa Bayer in the same robotic rhythm that he deployed throughout the rest of the sketch, he seems to get confused. He then ends up saying "I love you ... no," before laughing, looking off camera, and incredulously asking, "What?" It's clear that this bungled line isn't on purpose, like the rest of his lines. In a sketch that already doesn't make sense, it's the most nonsensical moment. So what happened? Well, the answer lies in a Reddit AMA with Vanessa Bayer from nine years ago.

Louis' cue card had a typo

When one fan asked Vanessa Bayer why Louis C.K. flubbed his line and broke character in "Private Eyes," Bayer was happy to solve the mystery for posterity. "His cue card was supposed to say 'I love you now' but it said 'I love you KNOW,'" she wrote. "It was so funny that I kept the cue card and it's now in my dressing room."

So there you have it. Louis didn't actually flub his line; he simply did the best that he could with a line that didn't make any sense — even in the context of the sketch. Somewhere, there's a cue card writer who's still kicking themselves — or feeling proud of themselves for contributing to "SNL" lore. 

Of course, C.K.'s flub wasn't the most embarrassing in "SNL" history. That honor would most likely go to Samuel L. Jackson's accidental use of the F-bomb in 2012 or Ashlee Simpson's lip-syncing scandal in 2004. Jackson was never invited back to the show, and Simpson's career never fully recovered. C.K., on the other hand, went on to win an Emmy — though he's had other career turbulence.