LOUIE 3.02 ‘Telling Jokes/Set-Up’

Harmless knock-knock jokes turn into an anything-but-harmless blind date in a jarring night out for Louie.  

Johnny Firecloudby Johnny Firecloud

So Louie's still got that motorcycle after all. Lucky for us, and not so lucky for him, this week's episode proved that he's got at least one far more more volatile issue threatening his health than a loose hold on the handlebars. 

We return to the two-story format this week, the first segment consisting of Louie eating with his daughters while they fire knock-knock jokes at one another. Taking it to the stage, he shows a true appreciation for his daughters' abstract humor, bridging the gap between doting dad and stage man. 

The rest of the episode juxtaposed the gentle parenting moment with a crash-landing double-blind unannounced date set up by the wife of another comedian and friend of Louie’s, Allan Havey. After Allan performs a bit of stand-up in which he does an impression of his dick doing a Bing Crosby impression, the awkward overload approaches back at home where Louie and the other unassuming houseguest, Laurie, are made aware that they're being set up together. You could not put two less magnetized people in a room with one another. Outright disgust at one another rapidly shifted to a shared critique of the quarreling host couple, an attack on marriage in general, and eventually drinks at a bar. 

Over shared cynicism and ridicule, Louie and Laurie are actually hitting it off, and we see some strange potential in a new friendship to take root – one that doesn't involve our protagonist groveling and emasculating himself at every turn (here's lookin at you, Pam). Hell, it goes so well that Laurie offers him a blowjob, which he naturally accepts in the high-spirited manner in which it was offered. However, things took a turn when Laurie says it's time to "strap on the feed bag" and return the favor (note to women: never use that term. Ever. Ever.) When pressed as to why he refused, Louie explained how it’s too intimate of an act and that he'd sort of “feel like a whore”. Naturally, this goes over terribly. 

Laurie gets hostile. Then she gets downright scary, accusing him of being a closeted homosexual before breaking the window of her truck with Louie’s head, climbing on top of him and threatening to break his fingers if he doesn’t do the deed. Sure, this feels like rape. It's scary and undesired and terrible. But Louie, goddamnit Louie, he gives in. Not only that, but he eagerly agrees to a second date.

So ladies, to summarize – if you're looking to really lock a guy in, don't indicate a desire for reciprocation when you go down on him, but if you eviscerate his sexuality and overpower him physically afterward, he'll find you irresistible. It's only fitting, in a strangely backwards way, that he ends the episode on an anecdote about realizing that he's the first asshole in his daughters' lives. 

“Telling Jokes/Set-Up” is one hell of a weird tale, and the jarring juxtaposition between the adorability of his daughters and the traumatic exhilaration of the Laurie ordeal may as well have been a character in itself. Most importantly, it depicts Louie as a man riding one hell of a pendulum through the human condition. That is precisely the goal, it would seem, after all. The infinite avenues by which we can relate, empathize and commiserate are precisely what makes "Louie" such a great freakin' show. It may not always be comfortable or even funny, and it sure as hell doesn't follow a trail of sound logic, but Louis C.K.'s knack for honing in on the tiny explosions in everyday life in a way that connects to the viewer is what makes the show worth coming back to.