'Late Show' finds its guy ... is it 'Louie'?
September 21st, 2012
12:08 PM ET

'Late Show' finds its guy ... is it 'Louie'?

[This post contains spoilers for the September 20 episode of FX's "Louie."]

Thursday night’s “Louie” concluded the three-part “Late Show” arc, and like all great comedians, Louis C.K. has expert timing.

So it came as no surprise that his deliberate pacing over the past two episodes built to a payoff that was as inspiring as it was tragic.

At the episode’s start, Louie seemed fully dedicated to replacing David Letterman. He continued his determined quest to lose weight, and resumed his training with Jack Dall. He explained he wasn’t a "3, 2, 1, funny" kind of comedian.

“Let me tell you what kind of what you are,” Dall said. “You’re whatever you have to be to make people laugh. Any time, anywhere, anyone.”

At home, Louie continued to rehearse, wearing a suit jacket over his standard black t-shirt. But Janet, Jane and Lilly interrupted to deliver good luck notes.

As Louie awaited his big moment, Dall visited his dressing room, bringing along a suit and some prescient wisdom.

Then, in walked his rival Jerry Seinfeld. Seinfeld said that he’d already signed the deal, but that the news was still a secret. Dall’s showbiz rule number 3! Jerry’s secret was a lie.

Louie took the stage in a full suit, finally seeming at ease. He graduated to Obama jokes! He established a friendly rapport with guests Susan Sarandon and Paul Rudd.

The guests laughed, the audience laughed, Louie laughed. He killed. Lars Tardigan agreed, announcing to himself, “I’ve got an option.”

Even perennial undercutter Todd Barry lauded his friend Louie. But as Louie toasted his pals, Maria Menounos delivered the news that Letterman had renewed his contract for 10 years. Doug explained that the studio was able to negotiate Letterman down several million dollars because of Louie’s strong performance.

Louie left the bar and soon found himself outside of the Ed Sullivan Theater. As he stared up at the marquee, his dejection turned to euphoria. Louie threw his arms in the air and screamed, “I did it!”

He did. This was the biggest professional challenge Louie had ever faced. He conquered his fear - that he wasn’t he right guy, that he couldn’t rise to the occasion - and walked out onto that stage assuredly and gave it his all. That was the victory.

No, he wouldn’t replace David Letterman. Not yet, at least. But he had proven that he could replace the old insecure Louie with a better, more confident version. When he returned to the boxing ring, he sparred Alphonse with an unprecedented vigor.

This three-part arc was the most ambitious story “Louie” has attempted thus far, and the result was spectacular. Each installment worked as a stand-alone episode, but together they form a strangely hilarious, quietly realistic indie movie about the heartbreak of showbiz.

While it will be hard for next week’s season finale to measure up to the “Late Show” storyline, I’m certain “Louie” will rise to the occasion and exceed our expectations. Just like its title character.

What did you think of the “Late Show” trilogy?

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Filed under: Louie • television • TV recaps

soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Lee

    Today, I went to the beach front with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter
    and said "You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear." She placed the
    shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and
    it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I
    know this is totally off topic but I had to tell someone!


    October 16, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
  2. cowcharge

    He'll never replace Letterman making Obama jokes. that's a no-no.

    October 13, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  3. Sam

    It would be great if someone actually replaced Letterman. He's not funny anymore.

    October 11, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jeff

    I enjoyed the 3 "Late Show" episodes... all the episodes I have seen ( I have NOT seen them all ) of Louie are good as well, I have had a few VERY sad things happen in my life and this show can still make me laugh and Feel at the same time.

    September 24, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mark

    The only comedy where that I have gone back and re-watched episodes. I don't see "talk show host" on Louis CK's future resume'. I see him writing and directing great films. i hope my vision is 20/20.

    September 24, 2012 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
  6. Push Up Bra

    It also drinks to much so one is never what it will do...

    September 23, 2012 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
  7. marmardouglas

    I love Louie more and more with each new episode! I couldn’t believe Jerry Seinfeld tried to derail him before his big audition, but that’s probably an honest take of how things work in show business. I watched the episode yesterday since I work nights at DISH, but I set a recording on my Hopper so I wouldn’t miss it. The 2,000 hours of hard drive space helps me keep up with shows when I have time for TV. It’s so sad that the finale is finally here, but this has been the best season so far!

    September 22, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Captain Obvious

      I agree! Louie is a great show. As I was sitting at home flipping through the channels I realized that just like "The walking dead" (which is no longer available on Dish Network) Louie is one of my all time favorite shows. With the triple play package on Time Warner Cable I can watch Louie while simultaneously blogging about how Dish Network no longer offers many of my favorite shows. I can even call my parents to explain why their Dish Network service is costing them much more than they signed up for and making it impossible for them to cancel their service. Isn't technology great!
      P.S. Two can play at this game dummy!

      October 16, 2012 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
  8. moon unit?

    thank you

    September 22, 2012 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
  9. Pull Up

    i like those one liners also-makes me laugh too

    September 21, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Nick

    Loved it! Always impressed with the depth of emotions that Louie allows us to feel- from the repeating somber piano riff to the hilarious one liners from Jack Dall! Can't wait for the finale next week!

    September 21, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |

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