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Friday, September 14th, 2012

'Louie' Recap: "The Late Show (Part 2)"

 Thom Yorke was right when he whined that ambition makes human beings pretty ugly. Comedians, those people whose job it is to make us laugh away the pain we have in our hearts from people who have broken it with their selfishness, greed and duplicitous natures become selfish, greedy, duplicitous monsters when a career changing or defining gig is within their grasp, and for a majority of comedians, *the* defining gig is sitting in a chair behind a desk at 11:35 every weeknight. It isn't pretty stuff, as evident by the fact that Louie, who is only ambivalent about getting David Letterman's show throughout "The Late Show (Part 2)", manages to get stabbed in the back by one of his closest friends, get literally beaten up, and insulted by his physical appearance to his face in a thirty minute episode. And it was thirty minutes if you count commercials.

In that regard David Lynch was perfect for the role of Jack Dahl (pronounced "Doll", not "Doll"), the late night guru CBS President Garry Marshall trusted to shape Louie into a halfway decent late night talk show host. Lynch was the co-creator of Twin Peaks, a show that was scientifically speaking, weird, which superficially was about solving a murder and dancing backwards speaking midgets, but ultimately was a show that addressed the good and evil in humanity through the supernatural, specifically with the existence of the White and Black Lodges and BOB, a demonic entity that possessed humans and had them do crazy things like rape and kill. Fine, Chris Rock wouldn't actually *end* C.K.'s life for a television show, but Louis must have hadPeaks in his brain when he cast Lynch and when he wrote this episode. In addition to his executive producer duties, David Lynch played a minor character who appeared in a handful of episodes named Gordon Cole, main character Agent Cooper's boss at the FBI. Cole had a massive hearing problem and wore hearing aids that were of very little help.


The very first time we saw Jack Dahl, he was scratching the back of his ear.

That can't be a coincidence. Anyway, the guy is certifiable. This was in his drawer.

 And he was not that particularly helpful. Insisting that C.K.'s agent hold up a cue card of a monologue joke about Richard Nixon, Dahl made Louie read the joke. C.K. did a shitty job, and after a long silence was informed he needed to add "We'll be right back", even though he only told one joke and there should totally be at least nine more. Because it had been too long since he had last looked at his gun and foreign money, Dahl told them him to work on his speed and come back Wednesday.

At home, C.K. received a phone call from Jay Leno. Leno was already aware of the situation, and when Louie asked for advice Leno told him not to go for it. "Uh, don't do it. You're the hip guy, you're the cool guy – that used to be me. But, then you got to do 14 minutes every single night, nobody is hip every single night." Except Johnny Carson and David Letterman. He didn't add that last part as much as I did. Then Louie went to a diner to chill with Chris Rock to hear Rock say that "Jay Leno is a liar!" and "that it's the late night wars. *Wars*." He needs to smarten up and trust nobody. As soon as C.K. left, Rock had his agent on his cell. Surely we can trust Chris Rock right? Last time I checked he wasn't Jay Leno.

On Wednesday the late night education continued. Dahl showed C.K. all of the physical movements that are done by every single late night host since the dawn of time before you start your monologue jokes, without a single audience or late night band member to respond to being pointed at in what can only be assumed to be a friendly manner. It was like that video of The Big Bang Theory without a laugh track, only a million times more clever and depressing.

Then Lynch insulted Louie's appearance, specifically his body, his face, his beard and his hair. C.K. countered by taking a surprisingly staunch stand against suits. The discussion concluded with Dahl ordering Louie to see an Alphonse the next morning at nine sharp. In a classic Louie misdirect, Alphonse turned out not to be a tailor, but a boxing trainer. And not just *any* boxing trainer, but Clay "Sheeeeeeeeeeeet" Davis from The Wire.

Alphonse put Louie in the ring. While the real Louis C.K. has boxed before, his character sure as hell hasn't, so he subsequently gets the sheeeet beaten out of him and is on the floor in fifteen seconds. Alphonse's words of encouragement were simply "come back tomorrow."

Back at home, Louie conveniently had his television turned to Extra where it was reported that Letterman is soon retiring and that Chris Rock is now rumored to be taking the job. Someone was not happy.

It's a cold world out there. Will the twist be that Chris Rock is possessed by BOB? Will Louie end up kicking ass in the test show but not get the job because he broke the confidentiality agreement? Will David Lynch get the gig? All of the above? We'll find out next week. In the meantime, trust absolutely nobody to ensure your own well being.

Things to Say While Picturing Chris Rock in Twin Peaks

- "Jerry Seinfeld is not even that good."

- "Doll?"

- "Reagan? Can I have some today jokes?" "You're not ready."

- "Listen Cracker Jack, if you’re gonna be televised you gotta be easy on the eye. It's not good if people hate looking at you."

- "Look…" "I'd rather not."

- "You need to wear a suit brother!"

Things to Ponder While Going to a Public Diner with Chris Rock and not Eating or Drinking Anything

- What was up with the quick scene where Louie's daughter ratted out the old woman stealing at the supermarket? Was it to add to the whole "there are no secrets" lesson of this episode? Just to get a glimpse of something Louie wouldn't get the pleasure to experience as much if he got the job?

- Why did C.K. abandon the time and date graphics from part one?

- It was nice to get some backstory with Janet the ex-wife, no?

- Will the Presidents that Louie gets to make fun of continue to progress chronologically? Should we expect a lot of killer Bush Senior material next time?

Roger Cormier will be right back.

Tags:

fx, louie, recap, tv

  • Guest

    2 things you left out that I thought were GREAT – the actress playing the receptionist changes for one quick cutaway when Louie first gets to the office. I thought it was maybe just me, but then the after-credit sequence was SO Lynch, with them switching between the two actresses, and then Louie, and then a random dude, all just saying "Doll" – so fantastic

  • derekl

    2 things you left out that I thought were GREAT – the actress playing the receptionist changes for one quick cutaway when Louie first gets to the office. I thought it was maybe just me, but then the after-credit sequence was SO Lynch, with them switching between the two actresses, and then Louie, and then a random dude, all just saying "Doll" – so fantastic

  • http://twitter.com/jimchuck jayDOTarr

    Yeah, the concept of Dahl teaching Louie how to be a host was funny in itself, but the execution was simply brilliant. The choice to include the crowd applause (in Louie's head, presumably) only when the camera was on the monitor and when it cut — or panned, don't remember — back to Dahl reacting to a complete void was just a perfect touch. I love that that sequence wasn't rushed.

    Also, bumping the Eraserhead soundtrack during the initial Dahl office scene was a nice tip of the hat too.

  • Burntad

    He was itching his ear when he entered that first scene with him and then he itches it as louie leaves. That could be a reference to Blue Velvet as the movie opens up entering a severed ear and ends exiting it