Chuck Klosterman at Grantland on Louie, an FX comedy starring “comic’s comic” (that’s what everyone else seems to call him, which seems like a very complimentary thing to say though I can;t claim I know what makes someone a comic’s comic) Louis CK:
“What’s so distinctly compelling about this season of Louie is how everyone seems to collectively realize that what C.K. is doing is not only cool, but also authentically artful and unnaturally profound. There’s no debate over its value because there’s no contradictory position to take. It’s not polarizing in any important way: If you’re watching this show, you intuitively know it’s fantastic (and substantially unlike the way fantastic TV typically is)… I’ve never had this much confidence in a TV show, ever. This is really happening.”
Well, alright then… Where do I sign up?
Louis has been an under-the-radar critical favorite for two years now, but it has exploded in the press over the past few days as a clip from the show where semi-fictional Louis CK asks semi-fictional Dane Cook for Lady Gaga tickets for his daughter has gone viral. I knew previously that Cook had had his reputation as a comic tarnished when he was accused of joke stealing. (Full disclosure: I loved Cook’s album in high school. I haven’t heard since then, but I strongly suspect I would still find it funny, regardless of what admitting that would do to my cred. So take that as you will.) Apperently it was Louis CK, who I hadn’t heard of until recently, whose jokes were supposedly lifted by the much more bankable Cook. CK never explicitly accused Cook of stealing his jokes but he never denied that it might have… Well just watch the clip, it both explains everything and ends up being just about the most engrossing five minutes of television I’ve seen in a while. You can find the clip at this link to EW’s Popwatch.
The first thing you notice about this conversation between two comics is that it is almost purposefully not funny. Yes there is one joke in there about people who stick an and in when they say “two thousand and six.” (I profess to being one of those people. Stop looking at me that way!) For the most part though, what you get is an unflinching and deeply honest portrayal of a relationship between two funny men that is based around pain, deep pain, and not laughter. It is deeply profound, kind of hard to watch, and, as Klosterman points out, way different from what we are used to from television situational comedy.
I want to see more. Anyone know where I can find the back catologue of Louis episodes?