In January of this year, I posted a video by Louis CK, in which the comedian and father of two looks to secure the financial future of his children by making his own sex-tape; one last good shake at the fame tree. It was a pretty funny bit, which served a double purpose: to horrify us with laughter at the prospect of Louis CK doing gay-porn and promote his new show: “Louie” which premiered recently.
I’m not entirely sure how recently as I don’t own a television and can’t be bothered to check (it’s not because I’m lazy or anything.). I watched it online, where I understand many watch TV now. I saw a couple episodes posted so I can’t imagine it being too long ago. Let’s say two weeks or something.
Point is the show is good. It’s smart comedy. It doesn’t always go for the dick jokes – it lets us wallow in the desperateness of being a middle-age comedian trying to make it in the real world following his divorce. Also: some dick jokes. Unlike his previous effort, “Lucky Louie,” which followed the familiar sitcom format, “Louie” is “vignette-y.” Louis CK’s word, not mine. Bits of his stand-up are mixed with short pieces – some of them entire stories, others more anecdotal.
As I am not middle-aged yet, I can’t say I can fully appreciate the humour – though I still fall off my chair laughing. He cuts across various demographics. It’s self-deprecating but not lamentable. Never mean spirited and often surprising. In the second episode, after having just signed his divorce papers, Louie looks up an old crush from junior high on Facebook. No, she isn’t “hot.” She’s suffered the same ravages of time and parenting that Louie has. So, do they still make it? (spoiler) You’re fucking right they do. He’s 42 and recently divorced, which I imagine is a very confusing time for a man with body image issues who believes he’s never to have sex again. You’re goddamn right he’s going for it. With gusto!
Much of the same innovative approach to humour and storytelling that makes his stand-up so memorable, quotable, and enjoyable – yes, funny too, of course – appears on screen. As the two are entirely different mediums, I’m not certain Louis CK – who writes, directs and executive produces the show – has arrived at the right balance for television yet but it’s promising. And it’s unlike other comedy shows, which might work for some better than others. With time, I think, for many.