Friday, September 21, 2012
Louie - "Late Show Part 3"
Watching Louie's profanity laden camcorder rehearsal for "Late Night," I—because everything I write about always comes back to me—couldn't help but think back on the little podcast rehearsals I held for myself back when I bought my microphones almost a year ago. (Holy crap, come mid-October, it'll be a year since I started podcasting. Listen to my podcast.) Hearing my my thin, quavering voice, I instantly regretted my decision to start podcasting. There was no way I could make this work, I thought. What the fuck was I thinking?
But I backed myself into a corner. I bought microphones without ever having done a test run. If I didn't want to feel like a chump for wasting money, I'd have to force myself to make this shit work. So I practiced, I kept learning; eventually I got into enough of a groove that I felt confident enough to pull it off. Similarly, Louie has put himself in a situation where he has no other option. If he quits, not only will he disappoint his family and friends, but his career will likely be poisoned.
Of course, the difference is, had Louie actually gotten "Late Night," had his audition not actually been a ploy by CBS to bring down Letterman's renewal price (more on that later), he would have had a show potentially watched by millions, not a homemade podcast listened to by a few friends. The stakes would have been higher is what I'm saying.
Regardless, this shit spoke to me. And it also touched on a theme I've heard Louis discuss in many an interview: the guy loves to learn. If there's a skill he hasn't yet mastered, by God he's gonna learn how to do it. So, though Louie may feel like a fool, like a phony for doing the whole "Late Night" schtick, it is a skill he doesn't have, thus one he really wants to figure out. Not only that, he wants to learn how to do it in his own voice; but getting over that initial hump is the hardest part. Basically, learning curves are a bitch—but envigorating all the same.
Though Louie may feel degraded when asked to be funny on command ("That's not the kind of comedian I am"), he knows that if he wants the show, if he wants to be good at hosting, he'll have to figure that shit out. And this can lead to a wide range of simultaneous emotions—anger, resentment, embarrassment, defeat—we can all relate to. How many times, after all, have you trained for something new and instantly felt that you were above it after the first hurdle ("Well, of course, I'm not good at it. Only tools are good at that sort of thing. I would hate myself if I was good at that")?
But Louie gets over that hurdle; not only does he learn the new trade, he becomes a "Late Night" champ. And...oh, it was just a contract negotiation ploy by CBS? And now Louie's burned a professional bridge? Shit. In his own way, though, Louie still succeeded. Letterman, CBS, and Seinfeld can never take that away from him. A wonderful finale to a masterful three-parter.
Holy shit, how embarrassed were you for Louie watching him dance like a monkey for David Lynch.
Though she wasn't my first, I've definitely jerked off to Susan Sarandon quite a few times. Well, that's one thing I kind of have in common with Louis CK. I'll take it.
I know we've still got one more episode, but I think this might be my favorite season. Sure there were a couple clunker episodes in the middle, but the great episodes were possibly the best to date.
"You’re not a big guy. You’re fat."
"Why can’t they just get someone skinny? Why do you have to change?"
"Here’s the thing with that champ—that’s short for champion—you wanna be a talk show host, it’s better if your funny."
"You’re a comedian? I’ve known you for a week and you haven’t made me laugh once. I thought you were a newsman."
"You know what you’re problem is? You’re just a pencil penis parade."
"You just bought yourself another week."
"Conduct an interview."
"There’s nobody here."
"Well, go get someone."
"Tune in every night folks, it’s the crying cleaning lady show."
"You know it’s a really unique thing to read jokes off cards because you just see your death in front of you."
"Here’s to the new king of Late Night."
"Former king of his own mother’s cunt."
"It’s official. You suck."
"Hey, Letterman, I did it. Hey, Letterman, fuck you."