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The jokester and comedian is one of the few people in history who is given carte blanche to criticize those in power. From the jesters of romanticized days when kings truly ruled the land to Bill Maher cracking jokes at Dick Cheney’s expense these are the people who held those in power accountable. A joke isn’t just a way to make an audience laugh; it’s also a statement. Sometimes the statement is simplistic, other times it’s so overly profound you feel somehow changed for having heard the yarn.
Louis C.K. isn’t looking to change the world with his FX show Louie. From the initial series of episodes it’s apparent the observational funnyman simply wants to translate his unique comedic tone to television. For whatever reason he picked himself up from a failed HBO sitcom, went back out and did great comedy, and has returned to the masses with a show that is as funny as it is an indictment of the world.
The show mixes brilliantly Louis’ hilarious every day outlook on life with an examination on how it is we as a society came to accept things like interracial relationships, use of the word “faggot,” or dealing with our crazy mom. Not all of it is earth shattering or world changing. In fact, most of what is dealt with on Louie would be considered trivial by most people.
The self-conscious nature of the show keeps the audience from being offended by the observances of these miniscule social oddities. Louis himself is living in the world while playing a character in a made-up world that is nearly identical to the real world, thus allowing us to laugh along with the comedian as we all watch the character of Louie. Never feeling like he’s making fun of us, only pointing out our flaws and foibles.
That ability to step away from reality while surreptitiously glancing back is part of the brilliance Louie brings to television. The other piece of the comedy puzzle is pure hilarity. This past week’s episode included a scene that encompasses this idea perfectly. In an anesthetic dream state Louie comes across Osama Bin Laden and during the conversation says, “I think that 9/11 was a bullshit move.” It’s such a childish statement, but it’s also a feeling everyone has. You know what? The whole 9/11 situation was a bullshit move.
Look, Louie isn’t the most important show on television. And honestly it’s more about how much you’ll laugh during each episode, which will be in epic amounts. This just happens to be the type of programming that deserves incredible amounts of support. If you don’t watch Louie you’re letting the terrorists win. Also your mother is a lesbian with a girlfriend hotter than any chick you’ll ever get.