Louie: “Late Show (Part 2)”
Louie meets David Fucking Lynch.
September 15, 2012 2:07 pmSam Lindauer
There isn’t a show that’s quite as surprising as Louie from week to week. Part two of “Late Show” is no exception. While the first part showed the whirlwind adventure a comic can go through before landing a huge, life-changing gig, this week showed the nitty-gritty of getting such an opportunity. Louie starts the episode secretly wanting an out when he talks to his ex-wife about the deal. He wants her to tell him that he can’t do it so he can spend more time with his kids, but she doesn’t give in so easily. She knows what Louie doesn’t want to think – this is life-changing and as a comic, hosting David Letterman’s show is a huge honor. Now he has no choice but to meet with Jack Doll, the man the CBS executive assured Louie would whip him into fighting shape (figuratively and literally it would seem) to host The Late Show.
I thought the casting of Garry Marshall as the CBS executive was a ballsy move. That was nothing. CK somehow managed to bag director David Lynch into serving a guest spot. Part coach, part creepy visage, Doll has Louie run drills like reading a 40 year old joke off a cue card or faux-greet a studio audience. Louie fails pretty spectacularly at all of these tasks. Louie even tries to get into shape, jogging and going to a boxing ring where he is pulverized under the guidance of Clay “Sheeeeeit” Davis. A moment I found significant was when Louie rebuked Doll’s request for him to wear a suit for the show. Louis CK as host of Late Night seemed like a conceptual fantasy to me at this point, but somehow this small detail shaped what a CK-hosted late night talk show might actually look like. It wouldn’t include jokes about Reagan or Nixon and it wouldn’t have a suit.
While the training itself isn’t going well, the pressure from outside sources starts to creep up on Louie. He receives a call from Jay Leno giving him “advice” about the gig. For the record, I am not a Jay Leno fan. In fact, I’m a Jay Leno detractor. I think his comedy panders to the lowest common denominator, his monologue is stale, his comedy bits often derive their laughs not from writing, but from mistakes of forces beyond his or his writer’s control (i.e. screwed up headlines, dumb people not knowing who the Vice President is, etc.). In addition to this, he is notoriously obsessed with his job at The Tonight Show. I don’t need to recount all of the Leno-Conan mess, but it’s clear where my feelings lie on the whole thing. That said, Leno is excellent in this episode. He calls Louie to say that he has heard about the offer and seems pretty cordial. But he tells Louie something that he knows would strike CK to his core. Taking The Late Show would end any coolness or credibility he had worked for. Listening to Leno say that he was no longer hip was surprising – maybe more surprising than David Lynch pantomiming the opening of a Late Night talk show.
Louie goes to his friend, Chris Rock, to discuss the call from Jay. Chris assures Louie that these are just a bunch of mind games Jay is playing to throw Louie off. With CK more confident now going forward, we find that Rock secretly placed a call with his own people to maybe get a chance at Letterman’s spot. When Louie sees on the news that Rock is involved now, he realizes the battle he’s just entered.
This episode was heavy on surprise and solid performances from entities one wouldn’t expect. It lacked the emotional tug that the first part had, but that’s to be expected from the second act of the show. Part three seems to be setting up a confrontation between CK, Rock, Seinfeld and, fuck it, David Letterman (maybe). While the laughs didn’t really hit for me this week, the absurdity surely did, including the Lynchian moments with Doll’s secretary and Doll coming out to applause only Louie can hear. If anything, this episode was the perfect tease to next week’s final part.
|FIND YOUR GEEK RATING
out of 10