TV in Review: Louie, “Late Show: Part 1″
September 13, 2012 2 Comments
I’m lucky that Louie took a week off last week, so I can run late and yet still post this hybrid review/recap just before they air Part 2 of “Late Show” tonight.
Part 1 of “Late Show” had Louie doing his stand-up in Los Angeles, showing off the depth that makes him different. How many observational comics actually notice that we’re, you know, at war? And not the center of the universe?
LOUIE: Only in America do we have this luxury. We get to decide when they find out that there is — Kids in Afghanistan don’t have, just — they find out. They find out. They find out when they ask “How come Uncle Henry’s head is gone now? How come that happened? Oh, because of the war.”
Jay Leno got to try and reclaim a little comedy cred by making an appearance, playing himself.
JAY: You ever flown on an airplane? You got airplane stories? All right, tell an airplane story.
I enjoyed the tie-in with The Tonight Show formerly starring Johnny Carson but kind of wished they could go further, and have shown Louie’s set on the show, either real or staged just for the Louie show. Louis has a deep understanding of how stand-up differs in different settings, and I would have liked to see his sitcom presentation of a late night television appearance.
Louis and company definitely provided plenty of insight into the workings of Hollywood, however, as we get Louie approached for a possible deal replacing David Letterman. Garry Marshall gave us Happy Days and Pretty Woman, but I’ll always love him best for his over-the-top network exec in Soapdish, where he played Edmund Edwards. Here’s Edwards showing typical network tact when trying to manage the woes of one of his top soap opera stars.
EDWARDS: She’s been through hell, and we’re her family. So in this crisis, we have to support her.
ROSE SCHWARTZ: Yeah.
EDWARDS: We have to love her.
EDWARDS: We have to care about her.
EDWARDS: And we have to milk it for every drop of publicity we can get.
I’m guessing that Marshall’s character in Louie, Lars Tardigan, is named in comic reference to the late Brandon Tartikoff, who built up NBC in the 1980s. Tardigan is also a straight talker.
LARS: I know you’re a working-class stand-up from Boston. You do stand-up. You make maybe, uh, $80,000 a year on the club dates, but you’re on the back nine of your career, except for once in a while a special on cable, I think you — five years ago you probably peaked, and now you’re waiting around, wondering if something’s gonna happen before it gets embarrassing.
I liked the insight into the comedy world, from the touring comic Louis still plays on Louie, to the big leagues of late night talk shows. But it wasn’t an episode that grabbed me as much as usual. Louie’s existential dilemma wasn’t as expertly framed as usual. Perhaps it was because the plot events played at a whirlwind pace, although Louis is quite capable of giving us a snapshot of his soul with one simple hangdog look.
DOUG: You went viral today….You have a meeting at CBS in one hour….You have a meeting with the chairman, president, whatever in one hour….
Oh, well. Decent Louie is still fun to watch, and any episode with Edward Gelbinovich playing Louie’s unnaturally young agent Doug is well worth twenty minutes.
FX first broadcast Season 3, Episode 10 of Louie on August 30, 2012.
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