With all due respect to “Duckling,” “Subway/Pamela,” and “Oh Louie/Tickets,” this “Late Show” arc might be my favorite story Louie has ever told. Except for a Pamela Adlon appearance, it’s got everything one could want in an episode of the show: it’s a behind-the-scenes look at a comedy world we’ll never be present to — it sounds vaguely plausible (I mean, Louie for Letterman? Sure!). It’s got great guest stars (Chris Rock! David Motherf*cking Lynch! Isiah Whitlock Jr.! Jay Leno! Maria Menounos?). It feels charmingly nostalgic, despite being set in the present, something very few people, meaning basically just Louis and Woody Allen, can pull off. And it’s self-deprecating, slyly comical, surreal, melancholy, tension filled, and for the purposes of this feature, soul crushing.
It also has faith in the viewer — there may not be jokes for long periods of time, like during the oddly sweet opening scene, but it trusts us enough to stick around to find out what happens. “Late Show, Part II” certainly isn’t the funniest episode of Louie ever, but the arc is the most compelling. And, I mean, DAVID LYNCH, and he called Louie “crackerjack”! He needs his own talk show.
I want more like this!
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