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'Louie' Moment: Louie Tells Off Osama bin Laden

by Joel Keller, posted Aug 25th 2010 10:40AM
Louis C.K. confronts bin Laden in 'Louie' on FX'Louie' (Tuesdays at 11PM ET on FX) has been an interesting ride, hasn't it? Some weeks, you get a cohesive, funny, awkward and poignant story like last week, and some weeks you get random, plotless vignettes like we did in this week's episode. It doesn't mean that the show is any less interesting or funny; this episode had the biggest laughs of the season, in scenes that I can't really repeat here. But episodes like this require more faith on the part of the viewer that Louis C.K. has an idea of where he's going and why he's taking the trip.

And in the first vignette, Louie really did take a trip, going into a drug and gas-induced hallucination at the office of a dentist (played by the always-reliable Stephen Root) who caters to cowards... a little too much. More on that in a bit.

Yes, the setup for the scene, involving relaxing Saudi Arabian music, feels like we're going through some machinations to get Louie in front of Osama bin Laden. But Louie and Root make it work. My guess is that Louie had some observations about 9/11, bin Laden, and terrorism bumping around in his head and he felt this was a good way to get them out. And in his usual, understated Louis C.K. fashion, he made a great point.

"You totally shouldn't have done 9/11," he tells bin Laden and his cohorts. "Would you want anybody to do a 9/11-y thing to you?" He then proceeded to call the attack a "bulls--- move," with a "maybe I'm oversimplifying things" disclaimer that's Louie's "get out of rhetorical jail free" card. He knows that people could argue the layers of the story until they're blue in the face, but Louie was just talking about his raw, gut emotions. With similar emotions coming out over the possible construction of a mosque near Ground Zero, Louie's confrontation still seems current and timely, even if 9/11 was nine years ago.

"Basically, you're saying we're a--holes," says bin Laden, in a turn that reminds us that this is going on in Louie's head. We knew that from the beginning -- Louie snapped a cell phone pic with the guy! -- but we get sucked into the confrontation, because we've all had the thought of what we'd say or do if we were confronted with this country's biggest enemy.

But bin Laden would never lead Louie into calling him an a-hole. "I don't mean to offend you," Louie says, "but I think you're an a--hole." In another sign that this is all in Louie's head, bin Laden actually starts to regret being a terrorist, saying that he never saw it from the perspective Louie gave him. Victory!

Unfortunately, Louie's touchy-feely dentist had to go and ruin the moment by feeding Louie a banana right afterwards. At least that's how Louie was seeing it in his hallucination. Hopefully, that's all he'll remember, because the reality was so much worse.

Anyway, both vignettes in this episode -- the second one was also about a fantasy, but one of a much different kind -- were worth waiting out, even if they didn't have much in the way of a point. Even though some of what Louis C.K. has been trying in 'Louie' has felt more like a experimental student film than a major cable comedy, he has gotten viewers to come along while he experiments. And that's a feat all by itself.

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The real question is where/how to get that Saudi Arabian Music!

Seriously, I want it.

P.S I didn't think the child rapist bit was funny either, but then I find myself enjoying the show exponentially more than his stand up.

October 18 2010 at 9:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

So you thought the first joke he made about child rapists was funny? Cause I didn't.

August 26 2010 at 6:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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