Before I get into anything, I just wanna address the elephant in the room: the criticism directed at Louis CK for both his supposed defending of Daniel Tosh and a recent Daily Show appearance in which he said that comedy and feminism are natural enemies. I don't wanna get into all of my feelings on the Tosh issue because I don't have enough time right now to get into a nuanced analysis of my specific thoughts regarding this dust-up—if you must know, however, I happen to like dark humor and I think no subject should be off limits (preferably if the jokes are intelligent), but I can also empathize with people who think otherwise.
Instead I will address one issue: Louis' comment about the antagonism between feminism and comedy. His comment here felt a tad odd to me because I have always considered him something of a feminist. Feminism, as I understand it, boils down to a desire for equality of opportunities for the sexes; and I can't really find anything in Louis' comedy that would lead me to believe he disagreed with this aim. Yes, he has used rape jokes and misogynistic language in his act, but it has usually been for the purpose of poking holes in our chauvinistic culture.
But on to last night's episode, "Daddy's Girlfriend, Part 1."
After Louie's daughters pester him to get a girlfriend (mommy has a new boyfriend, and he's really funny) he goes on the prowl. What does he do? He goes to creepy town in the form of scoping out the teachers at his daughter's school. In Louie's mind, he is just having beautiful fantasies about potential girlfriends. But just take a step back and imagine how that looks from the outside: A paunchy, bald, middle-aged man is leering, during class time, at elementary school teachers.
And when this doesn't pan out Louie becomes fixated on a charming bookstore employee played by Parker Posey. And so he asks her out...in the most stunningly awkward manner possible. I would post the whole thing, but it's so damn long; so here are some great parts:
"OK, you know, um...this kind of thing is so awkward and horrible, and from your end, it’s...OK, I’m gonna come out and tell you, I’m asking you out. And please don’t answer yet, because I know you have a no queued up in your head...I know that being a woman in New York must be hard because it’s basically disappointing maybe that you try to be nice to men as human beings, and then they respond by just torpedoing towards your vagina. I want you to know that I’m aware that you’re young and beautiful and I’m not either of those things..."
Yes, this is a great bit of awkward rambling in which the self-loathing Louie can't ask a girl out without first telling her that she shouldn't go out with him, but it is also an acknowledgement by Louis of the difficulties that come with being a woman in the city (or anywhere). It is damn near impossible to form a friendship with a man because few man want just that. In a way, this acts as a nice corollary to last week's episode.
I realize that I've only skimmed the surface of a very rich episode, and my apologies for not delving further into all of the great stuff here—the welcome appearance by Maria Bamford, the hilarious reality show parody, and everything else—but I just didn't have time. I'd love to have a discussion of everything else in this episode in the comments section, however, so please mention everything I missed.